Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Thoughts on Benedict XVI first words

They were as follows

Dear brothers and sisters, after the great Pope, John Paul II, the cardinals have elected me, a simple and humble worker in the Lord's vineyard.

The fact that the Lord can work and act even with insufficient means consoles me, and above all I entrust myself to your prayers

In the joy of the resurrected Lord, we go on with his help. He is going to help us and Mary will be on our side. Thank you.

The first thing that struck me was he said "the great Pope John Paul II". He of course officiated at the funeral mass for John Paul the Great, and watching him it was clear he was struck by the emotion of the crowd. Also, a man who until now has always been somewhat in John Paul the Great's shadow in that homily shone out himself, and connected with all the people there and the millions around the globe.

He is our Pope, he is human, "insufficient means" as he says. And also a direct appeal to all Catholics (and I suspect those non-Catholics so minded) that we pray for him. More than that - he "entrusts" himself to us.

And finally, John Paul's great words were "be not afraid". Echoed here is a similar theme, expressed in his own way. A confidence in Christ, in the journey, in the going on.

I am still just so incredibly happy. It is as though rays of sunlight have just been seen over the distant horizon, incandescent in the lightening sky. The tense uncertainty of night has been replaced by the glorious dazzle of the dawn.

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