Sadly this morning, Catholics in New Zealand, have woken to the news that our Holy Father, Benedict XVI has resigned from his position of leader of the Church. What more is there to say than we love our Holy Father Benedict XVI. He has remained steadfast in leading his flock through, what has been an incredibly trying time for the Church.
The photo attached to this blog post, is of the most priviliged moment in my life, where, along with my mother, Colleen Bayer, I was able to meet with the Holy Father and present to him my 10 week old son, John Paul. I will never forget the moment. It was the week that the Irish sex abuse scandal had blown up in the media. There were reporters all around the Vatican, all of them it seemed, trying to get negative commentary from the pilgrims. As Pope Benedict made his way up the line of people at the General Audience that day, I could see the weight of the world on his shoulders, the pain in his eyes. How these years must have been such a burden on him. And it seems, the pressures, the attacks on life, faith, marriage and family are becoming more and more intense. Sometimes the attacks come from within. Pope Benedict’s joy that day was evident when the preciousness of new life was presented to him. His eyes lit up, his face beamed. He rejoiced in this child, named after his friend Blessed John Paul the Great.
We will continue to pray for Benedict XVI while he remains in office, and indeed for the rest of his life. We pray for the Holy Spirit to guide His Church in these times of uncertainty. Let us continue to stand strong in our faith. Let us hold fast to the Truth.
What a beautiful memory for you and what must have been a beautiful moment for him.