Sunday, February 28, 2021

The Simplicity of "Papa Benedict"

On this day, eight years ago, we said goodbye to Pope Benedict XVI as his retirement took effect. We watched him take a helicopter from Saint Peter's Square after a moving final encounter with people there and all over the world via television and the internet.

Eventually, after a time at Castel Gandalfo, Benedict would move into the Mater Ecclesiae monastery in the Vatican to begin a new phase of his own personal vocation, taking up a life of prayer and solitude which continues even to this day. It is a genuinely hidden life, entirely detached from the office and active ministry of his successor Pope Francis, yet enduring as another special way of "serving the Church."

And we still benefit so much from the treasury of wisdom Benedict XVI gave us in the teachings of his papacy. Even with all his learning and erudition, his aim was always simple: to point to Jesus, to encourage us to trust in God's immense love for us, and to allow God to transform us in Jesus and raise us up to the measure of our vocation to eternal life.