In March of 2010 we took our youngest children, Lydia and Connor, with us to Europe. I spoke fifteen times in eighteen days in the nation of Spain. After a grueling schedule and long days, we ended our Europe trip by spending three days in Rome. Though I write on Fridays who I have met, this blog is about whom my children nearly met—Pope Benedict XVI.
It was on Good Friday and thousands had come to Vatican City to celebrate and see one of the most acclaimed spiritual leaders in the world. Our daughter, Lydia, and our son, Connor, were close to the Pope-mobile as they stood experiencing history. Little did we all know how amazing that memory would be since the world has been shocked to watch the Pope now leave his position. He indicated he did not have the strength to finish his appointment.
Yesterday, February 28, 2013 Pope Benedict XVI stepped down from his top leadership role in the Catholic Church. The news stated, “The Catholic Church is Pope-less.” He was the first Pope to retire in 600 years. “Viva Le Poppa!” Cheered the watching crowds as the Pope of Rome circled in a helicopter over the region of Rome and his former home and office—The Vatican.
He is going to live in a monastery and dedicate himself to prayer.
It is a strange time for the Catholic Church to have no leader. He is applauded by many for his act of humility by stepping down, since he felt he could not physically or spiritually do what was needed to be done for this hour. The Catholic Church and the world awaits his replacement.
A news report stated on line, “In a symbolic gesture, the Swiss Guards who stood sentry at the papal summer residence south of Rome, where the pope flew by helicopter less than three hours earlier, quit their posts and the massive wooden doors of the hilltop residence were closed. At the same time, the papal apartments in the Vatican were locked and will not be opened until a new pope is elected.”
As he left the Vatican several hours earlier by helicopter, he sent his last Twitter message: “Thank you for your love and support. May you always experience the joy that comes from putting Christ at the center of your lives.”
What great advice!
When you choose to look past the horizon… the sky is the limit!