Yesterday, like everyone else, I woke up to the news of our Papa stepping down as the Successor of Peter. I thought it was a joke, and then I started to panic. Then, as usual, my guardian angel stepped in and wing slapped me. I feel like maybe God showed me something deeper than what was happening just on the surface for just a tiny moment.
First let me explain my relationship with Pope Benedict. I have blogged about the last thing to happen on my trip Rome. But really, so many miracles happened on that trip that I will be able to blog about it for the rest of my life.This was one of those moments.
This was taken on our trip to Rome. Stace and I were standing by the fence that surrounds the seating area and a lady came up to us and said she had two extra tickets to get into the seating area and that we could see the Pope even better. The crazy thing is that she was talking to me in Spanish and nobody around us understood her except me.
At this point in my life I still had traces of my protestant upbringing in my heart about the Pope. I loved John Paul II, but only because he was so sweet looking and really I don’t know what it was about him, but he tugged at my heart. But Benedict was not like that for me. I thought that he was “just a man”. I had read a lot of secular news about the sex abuse scandal, and they did not do Pope Benedict any favors.
So, as I stood there waiting for him to come out in his popemobile, I was thinking that I would not care. It would be cool to say I saw the pope,but other than that, it was no big deal.
Then he came out. And this voice in my heart said “You are Peter”. Later that voice would tell me the same thing as I stood in front of the tomb of St. Peter. As the Pope passed by me, I was trying to take pictures. I had a great view of him, but you can’t tell because I was sobbing and couldn’t take good pictures of the moment. I just stood there sobbing. I was Home. I was where God wanted me. I had a Pope. I was a Papist. I had a ROCK. For someone who lived the unstable life that I had lived up until that point, that was exactly what I needed.
Yesterday when I heard about his resignation I felt my heart sink. Then a thought occurred to me. Papa made this announcement the Monday before Lent starts. We are all about to go into the desert to prepare to observe the Passion of Our Lord. And we are all in a state of having to do something that we don’t want to do, but that we know has to be done and will give life to our Church. We have to say good-bye to our beloved Papa.
And I wonder if he thought of the timing. I am sure he did, he is one of the most thoughtful men to walk the earth. To me the timing is amazing. Here we are, at the time when we observe a time of meditating on the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus and every secular news station is talking about us, our Church and our faith like they know anything about it. The hate and ugliness that is coming out of the keyboards of people is astounding. And yet, it is nothing compared to the Passion of Jesus. To me it seems like our shepherd is taking us by the hand and leading us to the cross. We are the Body of Christ, so it makes sense that as a Body we will have to endure the Passion together. As a Church. As brothers and sisters. We will be mocked, spit on, told how stupid we are, asked to save ourselves, and much, much, more. This is going to be the most realistic Lent that we have ever had. Personally, I’m not very happy about it, but I’m looking forward to it. I never really could understand the words of Jesus in the garden when He asked God the Father to take away His cup of suffering , but not His will but the Will of the Father be done. I never really got how Jesus could sweat blood from the stress of having to die on the Cross and yet still find joy in having to do it. I see it now. I am panicking about all the stupid and ignorant things that are being said about my faith, and yet, I have joy in knowing that Easter is coming! We will have a new Pope and our Church will keep doing what She does: leading people to Her Bridegroom ; Jesus.
I think it’s funny that people think the Pope is resigning because he’s weak. People, that is all kinds of wrong. And quit wringing your hands like somehow it’s a victory. The next Pope is going to put action behind all the things that B16 and JPII put in place. Weak? I laugh so hard at that. It’s about to get real. And I cannot wait!