26 February 2013

My Favorite Pope Benedict XVI Moments

My parish is celebrating the papacy of Pope Benedict XVI and in its own way saying thank you to the faithful leader the Church has so admired. To join in on the fun (though I really will be joining in on the fun at my parish, where things like Eucharistic Adoration and Mass are considered fun. You think I'm joking? I'm not. Mass is my idea of a good time. If anyone is unsure about joining me, can I convince you with food following Mass? Thought so.), I thought it would be entertaining and commemorative to list my favorite Pope Benedict moments.

1. That one time Pope Benedict XVI became Pope Benedict XVI.

Okay so let's be real. On 19 April 2005 I wasn't waiting with baited breath for white smoke, jumping up and down when he emerged or crying tears of happiness with the hope that comes when the next successor of Peter is finally announced. In real life, I was finishing my seventh grade year, probably laughing at my friend throwing her science book across the room with a scream because there was a picture of a spider in it. Or lamenting over the fact that my current crush didn't know I existed. I was not shouting myself for joy or being filled with love and admiration for an old man I never met and possibly never would (at least here on this earth, right?). Though I didn't know it at the time, a small bit of history was taking place, which I would one day nearly eight years in the future wonder about. This small bit of history would welcome as Pope a man who would make me laugh and smile, who would promote Christian unity, who would reach out to the younger generations, who would show great humility in his life as an example to the Church.

2. That one time Pope Benedict XVI gave me advice.

How is that possible if I've never met him? Reasonable question. The Friday after the Pope made his announcement, I had a dream that I got to meet him. In this dream he was promoting fish and was doing so by visiting grocery stores in the States. I begged my Mom to let me meet him since he was just down the street and I'd never have the opportunity again. When she said yes, I nearly ran to this line of people approaching the Pope and getting fish. None of them seemed interested though: they just grabbed their packages and went off to get other things in the store. When it was my turn, I did all the proper things (kissed his ring, addressed him as "Your Holiness") and told him I would be confirmed soon with a great deal of nervousness. He said that was great and asked me what fish I wanted. I don't eat much seafood so I really had no idea, so, clever flattering person that I am, I asked what His Holiness would choose. He got all excited and kind of rolled up his sleeves and gestured to this huge bag of tuna. Yep. Pope Benedict told me to eat tuna. I thanked him, grabbed the fish and walked away. I'm not sure what it means, but I now have cans of tuna in my cabinet.

3. That one time Pope Benedict XVI looked awesome.

All images from Google.

4. That one time Pope Benedict XVI made me cry like a big, fat baby.

Basically, this event lasted from the announcement of his resignation until now, off and on depending on how much I think of it. Why would I enjoy being sad? A great deal of blog posts were written and videos were posted which made me realize the great love for the Church our wonderful German Shepherd has. I have learned more about him and heard his words more in the last couple of weeks than ever before. I am so thankful for all he has done for the Church, even if his last Mass, last Angelus and last recessional made me either tear up or bawl my eyes out.

5. That one time Pope Benedict XVI was a great and humble example of how to live.

He has been an incredible servant of God, who, on the brink of retirement, took up the intense position as Pope to later release books, reach out to schismatic groups, give compelling homilies and become number one on my list of people I want to meet. He acknowledged his own weakness and did what he could for the benefit of the Church. What a fantastic lesson for all Catholics. It is okay to acknowledge our own weakness. It is okay to step down from the places we have built up, to abandon pride in favor of the capability of others and the perseverance of our station. All of it is an act of love.

Thank you, Pope Benedict, for all you have done for the Church. We love you so much. Viva il Papa!

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