The See of Rome is vacant.
Today, I was happy to be able to witness, live, the final moments of our Holy Father’s papacy.
As I watched Benedict climb into the helicopter and fly over the Vatican, the Colosseum, and the beautiful Italian countryside, I couldn’t help but feel a wave of sadness come over me. I probably wouldn’t be the only Catholic to tell you that we don’t really think too much about the Pope on a daily basis–but we know he’s there, and praying for us. And that is comforting.
It’s times like these that we realize that this man is truly our Shepherd.
The Rock upon which Christ’s church continues to be built.
It’s when this man’s papacy comes to an end that we truly understand our love and faithfulness towards him for all that he has done for us.
I recall the days near the end of Blessed Pope John Paul II’s life and have similar feelings of a sort of finality, the turning of a page, the end of a wonderful book.
I realized I had spent my whole life with him as the leader of my church, and while I had great love and respect for him, I somewhat took him for granted.
You always expect your Father to be there for you. It’s only when he isn’t that you truly realize how much he meant to you.
I have great faith that this is the right thing to do for the Church in this moment. We are living in times of great hardship and persecution from those that live in a world based upon relative truth and selfish desires. I trust that our newly elected Pope will have the strength and perseverance to lead us through and do what is right no matter what.
The succession of Saint Peter is truly a witness to the Truth of the Catholic Church. It has gone through so much turmoil, so much dissent, so much fracture and breaking and human imperfection…and yet it survives. Like a lighthouse in a storm, it holds fast to Truth. It has held on for over two thousand years, and will continue to do so.
The story of our Church is not over yet.
Our Holy Father may be closing a chapter, but the Catholic Church marches proudly on.
“May no adversity paralyze you. Be afraid neither of the world, nor of the future, nor of your weaknesses. The Lord has allowed you to live in this moment of history so that, by your faith, His name will continue to resound throughout the world.”
–Pope Benedict XVI
Thank you, Papa.