mom forwards this bit from catholic news:
Pope Benedict XVI delighted pilgrims and passers-by for the second day in a row as he went outside the Vatican walls to visit his old apartment.
A crowd of several hundred people thronged the apartment entrance April 21 after the new pope arrived in a car and went inside, apparently to rearrange his belongings for the move into the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace.
The evening before, the pope kissed two French children on his way out of the apartment.
“I’m really very touched,” Pope Benedict said, smiling, as he waved to the crowd.
The pope also took time to drop in on some of his neighbors in the building, which stands just across the street from Vatican City and houses several cardinals.
I didn’t get it at first glance, thought she was forwarding me a story I’d already seen. Then I got it: He went back a second time.
How delightful. I’m already loving our Pope Benedict.
I notice this time they drove him, though. Poor Papa not allowed to walk the streets of Rome anymore. It must be really hard for him to be so restricted. He really is a humble man of the people, not much room for personal pomp and circumstance.
Dom pointed out that in the pictures of him on the balcony Tuesday he was wearing a simple black sweater under his robes, not the starched French cuffs with fancy cufflinks that most cardinals wear.
Everyone keeps noting how he seemed so hesitant, unsure, weighed down when he emerged on the balcony on Tuesday. But after he’d given his address and received the cheers of the crowd he was quite buoyed up, more confident.
He knows quite well what he’s been called to. He was close to John Paul II and witnessed how our late Holy Father joined his sufferings to those of Christ and poured out his lifefor the Church. How many times did John Paul—frail, sick, exhausted, in great pain—pull himself up, reach down into the deepest reservoirs of strength, to make a gesture, to show his love?
Tree told me about going to an audience at Castel Gandolfo. John Paul was so frail that he had to be helped to sit and to stand. After making his few remarks he was exhausted. But as he was leaving, he stopped, turned around, raised his cane and waved exuberantly to the cheering crowd.
That was our Holy Father. He gave even when most people would have held up. He kept nothing for himself, but gave even what he couldn’t afford to give. Making jokes with people in the hospital after his tracheotomy. He couldn’t stop loving people.
And I believe Benedict witnessed this great love, this outpouring of self. And he means to do the same. Because John Paul was walking in the steps of Our Lord, Jesus Christ. I keep thinking of The Passion when He had been flogged to the ground and yet he pulled himself up, though he had to cling to the column for support. He gave until he could give no more. He loved with his last breath, speaking words of comfort and hope to His mother as he fell, to the thief from the cross, begging his Father to forgive those who hurt Him. His last breath was a benediction, pouring forth his Spirit on the whole world to make it new again.
Benedict is an old man, 78 years old. I fully expect that we will see him follow a similar path. No quiet retirement for him, dignified old age by the fire with his books. No he will continue to work, to teach, to guide, to love, to the very end.
How much he loves Christ, how much he loves the Church, to take this great burden on himself. To pour out his life, knowing exactly what it will cost: everything he has.
We are so blessed to have this holy man as our father. Thank you God for sending him to us. Thank you, Papa Benedict, for saying yes.
May we be inspired by his example to take up our crosses every day and follow where he leads.