Thursday, April 03, 2008

Pope Benedict : Follow the teaching and example of Pope John Paul II

Three years ago, the Lord took John Paul the Great from us. We mourned his loss as he deeply and profoundly affected the Catholic Church around the world. Across the globe churches and cathedrals had Masses and memorial services for the deceased pontiff. His beatification and canonization are inevitably in the pipeline since rumors have proliferated from one continent to the next of authenticated cases of miraculous cures.

Hopefully, trivial comparisons between JP2 and B16 have subsided. Each ponitff is exceptional in his own right. Pope Wojtyla was an actor, poet, athlete and very much an extrovert. Pope Ratzinger is an academic, philosopher, scholar and an introvert. BOTH are gifts of the Holy Spirit to Holy Mother Church. JP2 mades us proud to be Catholic again. He reminded the world and the church of the charism of universality. Catholicity was emphasized in his broadening of the college of cardinals to the extensive and inclusive list of canonized saints he made to the numerous pastoral trips around the globe. His papacy epitomized the notion of a universal shepherd. As supreme head of the church, he personified the idea of being the pastor of the world. Successor of Saint Peter, Vicar of Christ, Bishop of Rome and Servant of the Servants of God were never diluted nor diminished. However, his role as international leader of more than one billion Catholic Christians was evident.

B16 has his own unique style to be sure. But his papacy complements that of his predecessor as much as his first encyclical Deus Caritas Est complements JP2's last one, Mane Nobiscum Domine. The latter expressed the desire of the disciples that Jesus never leave them and the former shows that Our Lord could never leave us since His love for us was and is both possessive and oblative (eros & agape). The Blessed Sacrament unites the two pontificates perfectly. The accessibility of Pope John Paul symbolized the availability of Christ in the Real Presence in tabernacles all over the world. The studied, prayeful and deliberate gestures and actions of Pope Benedict symbolize the care and diligence of our Divine Beloved.

Whatever further tweaking B16 does to the Ordinary form (Novus Ordo) of the Roman Rite and his continued respect and support for the Extraordinary form (TLM) as well, will only continue his mission to recapture and resurrect a true sacramental renaissance in the church. The SACRED is being restored bit by bit while the lunacy and idioacy of liturgical abberations and theological dissent from previous decades begin to atrophe one by one.

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