Now that the shock has run its course on Pope Benedict's resignation as the Bishop of Rome and Vicar of Christ. Here are some of my thoughts and those of others. I love Pope Benedict XVI. He's a brilliant, holy, and blessed servant of God. He connected this generation to that of his predecessor Pope John Paul II. No one on that joyous day in April 2005, thought his papacy would be very long, he was already 78 years old. I loved his sweet Bavarian accent, it reflected his humility and his love for his flock. I love how he faked out his critics by making his first Encyclical "Caritas in Veritate" about Christian charity. His stature as a theologian is world renown, and his voice resonated against the evils of the world, partcicularly the extreme danger of relativism. The Pope demonstrated Catholic discernment in his remarks. We Christians are not robots whom God dictates to do this or that. There aren't voices going off randomly that tell us what to do after we read a particular Scripture passage. The Pope tells us, After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God... He is fully aware of the magnimity of his decision, conscious of his role in the Church at this moment and the future. He is the Servant of the Servant. After this discernment and mutiple examination of conscience he concludes I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry. He is doing this of his own volition, For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter... It is in our acts of true freedom with the guidance from God that we discern what and where God wants us to be. This is the model for discovering our vocations, as we read in Sunday's Gospel after Peter's fishing encounter with Christ, he and the others, When they brought their boats to the shore, they left everything and followed him.
We are family in this Church and Our Holy Father has decided to pass the mantel of Shepherding us to anothyer man. We need to pray this Lenten season that God through the Holy Spirit brings to us a vibrant, dynamic, holy and spiritual leader who will stem the tide of secularism, with the Truth of Jesus Christ.