To our Holy Father, dear Pope Benedict,
I cannot begin to imagine how heartbreaking it was to have made such an unprecedented, consequential decision. For that alone you have already earned much esteem in my eyes, but really, you deserve so much more.
From the little I attempt to imagine, I can see it must have been so hard–
accepting the monumental, incomparable responsibility of serving as Pope, at a time you were already gearing up for retirement after decades of faithful service to the Church.
attempting to teach a Church right smack in the middle of liberalism and advancing technology about the Sacredness of things–life, faith, the Sacraments–challenging the Church to stand up against the standards of this world in honor of the standards of the world to come; exhorting to, in matters of faith, choose conviction over compromise, persecution over praise.
dealing with what, in the eyes of the world, were horrific and disillusioning scandals, but really were much more than that–they were wounds repeatedly inflicted upon the Body of Christ, upon His very heart. How I pray I may never have to lose sleep over how to act in mercy, justice and love to ALL concerned, victims and sinners, as Christ did and calls us to.
speaking out against the ongoing sins of the Clergy, trying to convince more bishops to take action against their own brother priests.
performing all the duties and responsibilities of the Papacy, all undoubtedly wearing upon your body, mind and spirit, without ever uttering a word about the excruciating pain you bore just by standing long enough to give a blessing.
deciding to step down from the call you had received, humbly accepting your limitations, and recognizing that your flock needed more than what your body is now able to give.
putting aside all pride, all self-love, and following God’s direction as revealed by His Spirit in prayer; disregarding malicious speculations and criticisms of those who would give it, knowing that it is to God alone you must give an account of yourself (Romans 14:12).
It must have been so hard, and yet you endured all these difficulties with such strength and grace, faithfulness and love.
Thank you, my dear Pope. May our prayers for you rise up like angels’ songs, until the day that you will hear real angels’ voices, finally resting in your eternal home.