Monday, February 11, 2013

Blessings to Pope Benedict XVI: "The Love of Christ Urges Us On"

I have always loved the writings of our Holy Father. In fact, I just bought his Infancy Narratives as an audiobook. I wish that those who criticize the man  - within our Church as well as outside the Church - would read his words without preconception.

 His words here, from his encyclical Deus Caritas Est, feel prophetic.  He announced today he is resigning; the first Pope to do so in 600 years. He cites his age and his failing health. How brave to be able to face one's own limitations.  God bless him and God bless the entire Body of Christ.

“There are times when the burden of need and our own limitations might tempt us to become discouraged. But precisely then we are helped by the knowledge that, in the end, we are only instruments in the Lord's hands; and this knowledge frees us from the presumption of thinking that we alone are personally responsible for building a better world. In all humility we will do what we can, and in all humility we will entrust the rest to the Lord. It is God who governs the world, not we. We offer him our service only to the extent that we can, and for as long as he grants us the strength. To do all we can with what strength we have, however, is the task which keeps the good servant of Jesus Christ always at work: “The love of Christ urges us on” (2 Cor 5:14).”
Pope Benedict XVI, God Is Love--Deus Caritas Est: Encyclical Letter

PostScript: My friend Deacon Scott Dodge has written a great post about the resignation, offering invaluable historic and religious context. At Spence Ohana, an ordinary Catholic mother of two in Texas offers a lay person's perspective.