...but that has never stopped me from saying something in the past, so here goes.
By now, you have heard that Pope Benedict has resigned his office, citing advanced age and failing strength. We will not see Benedict as we saw John Paul II in his failing years and strength. It has been some time since a pope has resigned. Perhaps the most famous was St Celestine V, who confirmed the right of a Pope to resign, just before exercising that right- and who may have been immortalized by Dante as the unnamed man hovering around the gates of Hell who out of cowardice refused the great commission.
What do we say of him? I know many Catholics who claimed to hate him intensely. I know many others who claimed to love him dearly. I know few who followed him. Benedict was a gentle master who used his powerful intellect to try and gently persuade Catholics to follow the Way of Christ. Some took his words and claimed he was trying to beat Catholics in line, others that the Pope was telling people what's what, and that dissenters should GET OUT NOW!!!! But he said neither, and too many people on both sides turned his words into what they wanted to hear, proof of what they already believed to be true.
I would he could have remained Pope for years to come, but that will not be. I have no idea who will follow him as Pope, but really, that is none of my business. We are where we have always been: In God's hands. May He have mercy on us.
If anyone knows a good novena for times like this, now would be a good time to start.
And thank you, Pope Benedict. I will miss you. Now that you will be leaving, I would that I had followed you hetter.