Pope Benedict XVI, this quiet, unpretentious, holy man with the brilliant mind will vacate the Papacy effective February 28, 2013. He is 85 years old and has accepted the fact that his frail body cannot adequately perform the duties required of the awesome position to which he was entrusted. It is "ALL GOOD". We Catholics believe that the church is the "bride of Christ" and that the Holy Spirit is always there to guide it. Personally, I am in awe as I watch this beautiful process unfold. I have not an iota of concern about the future of the Church or about the next Pope. This institution has been around for 2000 years, no problem.
Over the next several weeks the print and broadcast media will bombard us with their insight and the gaggle of expert pundits will tell us what is going on within the church. They know nothing of course and have probably (most of them anyway) been trashing and criticizing the church for years on church teaching (birth control, abortion, women priests, celibacy etc). Now suddenly they will be theologians and will share with an uneducated public their babble. I do not care. It is "ALL GOOD". What I might advise all these newly ordained experts to do is to maybe make a visit to a nearby Catholic church and sit in front of the altar where the Blessed Sacrament is reposed in the tabernacle (I do not have to explain any of this to experts) and sit and LISTEN. Just sit there quietly and LISTEN. No talking, just LISTENING, to your heart. Maybe you might learn something useful to pass onto the folks.
Lent begins tomorrow with Ash Wednesday. It is a forty day journey that leads us to new-life, a rebirth, the Resurrection. It is a time for prayer, penance, alms-giving and self-denial. Millions of Catholic/Christians observe these traditions every year. It does not make the news. Countless people who have found Christ will be welcomed into the church during the Easter Vigil when they are baptized and receive the sacraments and become Catholic. This will not make the news. It does not matter. It is "ALL GOOD".
From a blue-collar catholic guy to my Pope, Benedict XVI...---"LOVE YA MAN"