Monday, February 11, 2013

Farewell to a Father

There are so many good commentaries out there today about the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, deciding to abdicate his office at the end of the month.

This will not be one of them.

This is the only Father I have known; my image of the eternal God - wise, kind, thoughtful and measured, with an accented English. I love him.

Me on the night I became Catholic with my sponsor, Meg. 

Today my thoughts were filled with him, especially having so recently returned from Rome. Walking in Saint Peter's square at night, we saw his lights on in the Papal apartments. It was so very late and so very cold and I thought of him and wondered what he was doing up so late. Maybe now I know. Later that week when we saw him at the General Audience, he seemed particularly tender, but maybe that is only hindsight speaking. After a group of French school children sang songs to him and raised their banner, he set his remarks down and clapped. It melted my heart. 

So today I am mostly sad. Sad because the world understands him not; sad because my children will not know the great man under whom I came home; sad because I love seeing his face and calling out to him with everyone else whenever I would see him in a crowd - in DC, in Australia, in Rome. 

I know the Church will be fine. I know the seat of Saint Peter will be filled, no doubt, with one worthy of it. And maybe this is the beer talking (cause I've already had one, cause I wanted a fizzy drink and the only one in the house was a beer), but I really do love him and he will be so deeply missed as the leader of my Faith. 

PS To those who are hating on the Holy Father and our Faith in general, please realize that you only display your ignorance when you criticize what you do not know. It's like you're walking into a foreign country and talking about their politics (although this is so much more than politics); all the natives just stare at you and then get really mad. So ask more questions and seek to learn, but lean not on your own understanding. 

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