Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Birthday greetings to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

Today is His Holiness, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI's 87th birthday. I am so grateful for the life, witness, and papacy of this humble worker in the Lord's vineyard.

I was born on Holy Saturday, 16 April 1927, in Marktl am Inn. The fact that my day of birth was the last day of Holy Week and the eve of Easter has always been noted in our family history. This was connected with the fact that I was baptized immediately on the morning of the day I was born with the water that had just been blessed. (At that time the solemn Easter Vigil was celebrated on the morning of Holy Saturday). To be the first person baptized with the new water was seen as a significant act of Providence. I have always been filled with thanksgiving for having had my life immersed in this way in the Easter mystery, since this could only be a sign of blessing (Milestones: Memoirs 1927-1977, 8)
Ever since I first read Pope Benedict's autobiography, I have loved this passage. I was baptized at the Easter Vigil in 1990. But no matter on what day you were baptized, your life, too, is to be immersed in the Paschal Mystery of Christ's death and resurrection.

I take great comfort knowing that Pope Emeritus Benedict spends most of his days praying. God's ear is particularly attuned to the prayers of His righteous ones. I would be remiss not to draw attention to Artur Rosman's recognition that the most recent Benedictine papacy was more radical than the Franciscan one so far: "What Do We Make of a Disturbingly Radical Papacy?"

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