Five years ago this very day, after the announcement Habemus papam, Pope Benedict XVI stepped onto the central loggia of St. Peter's Basilica. We are blessed to be led by a man as wise and humble as Joseph Alois Ratzinger. Ad multos annos! It is impossible to know how difficult walking in the shoes of the fisherman from Galilee is. So, we must pray for him daily. As I read the Gospel at Mass yesterday, these words, which come after the resurrected Jesus told Peter "Feed my sheep," words that Pope Paul VI quoted frequently in his personal journal: "Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go," struck me powerfully. Indeed, we can be quite sure that what has happened over these past weeks is not a path he would have chosen, but one he walks with confidence in the One who is leading him beyond where he does not want to go and which constitutes his path to destiny. I, for one, appreciate very much his personal witness, his humility, but above all his deep and abiding faith, from which the hope expressed in all his recent public statements is rooted. Let's not forget that it was the deep desire of then-Cardinal Ratzinger's heart to retire to his little house in Bavaria and write, pray, and reflect. File that one under if you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.
Viva il Papa!