Thursday, February 28, 2013
The Last Hours
It is the last few hours of Benedict XVI's papacy. I am oddly depressed. Not so oddly, I suppose. Along with a lot of other people, I was surprised and a little dismayed when the pope announced his intentions two weeks ago. But quickly, as the news sank in, and as I later realized what he was doing in retreating to a monastery for a life of prayer, I was happy for him and for us.
This has been my favorite pope, the pope of my adulthood. I was too young to know any others before John Paul II, whom I loved, truly loved, from afar. The "new" pope was a scholarly man, a teacher, someone (like me, I perceived) who would much rather use the gifts God gave him quietly reading and writing and communing with fellow theophiles. Instead, he poured those gifts out to nourish the children God gave him. An unexpected model for an introverted mother.
I am still happy to have him with us, in whatever capacity. And I look forward with joy and trust to whatever the results of the conclave bring us.
But I am realizing afresh that the end of a papacy even in this manner is not so far removed from mourning at a deathbed.
Today, in the final hours of the pope's Petrine ministry, we will attend a mass of thanksgiving. That is, the older kids will attend while I sit outside with the squirmy little ones and pray. Then we will start our brief sedevacantism in the dentist's office, because life goes on.
But I will miss you, Pope Benedict XVI.
A few links:
A tribute: 'night, Papa
Please: for next Pope, an average Joe
The Church is alive