Thursday, December 10, 2015

Words of Guidance From Benedict in His Final Advent as Pope

I found a couple of posts I made in 2012, thanks to the On This Day app. They were two rather lengthy quotations from the words of Pope Benedict XVI (who was still in office, in what proved to be the final Advent of his papacy). I'm not sure when he said them, but I posted them both on December 10, 2012:

The last thing I could have imagined "on that day," three years ago, was that Benedict had already discerned with firm conviction God's will for his own mysterious, unique vocation. He was only three months away from making the stunning, historic announcement of his resignation from the papacy.

His natural death would not have surprised me three years ago. But this... sacrifice: it was and remains a powerful witness to Jesus's authority over His Church.

Benedict was called to make this sacrifice "without fear but with simplicity and joy"--to put God entirely at the center of his life, to live in silence and prayer and allow God to choose another to take his place on the chair of Saint Peter.

Remarkably, Benedict continues to dwell in that silence nearly three years later. His quiet presence at the Jubilee Door on Monday and his embrace of Pope Francis were a reminder to us of the ways that his gesture of abandonment continues to instruct us.

When Benedict opened himself to "the divine initiative" in his vocation, he opened the whole Church. Now he continues to witness to our need in the Church to make room for Jesus first--and for the presence of His Spirit--when speaking of God, "trusting that He will act in our weakness."

Benedict continues to live in this trust "that the more we put [Christ] at the center rather than ourselves, the more fruitful our communication will be."

Do we believe this? Are we learning to trust in Him first and at the center of everything: to trust in Him to accomplish His infinite and incomprehensible will for our good even in our weakness?

Let us leave more room for God.