Tuesday, April 19, 2005

One Holy and Apostolic Church

I have spent the afternoon thinking about my new Pope, His Holiness Pope Benedict the XVI.

And I want to believe, I want to feel the excitement that he might bring to ministry. Knowing full well, that he has written some of the most scathing doctrine and enforcing some of the churches worst mistakes. I know that he was the most "logical" choice to lead the church into the 21st century. He was John Paul's right hand man for many many years.

Who he was as a child was in the past, and I am not going to nit pick over the reality of Eastern Europe during the days of Hitler. We have to look at today. Yesterday was history, the past is the past, and we cannot hold on to things that have no reason for being held in the light.

I want to celebrate this man's achievement. I want to be one with a church I feel passionately about, I want to believe that God made his choice and the spirit spoke loudly. And in that Sistine Chapel, the other Cardinals made a wise choice. I want to believe that they made this selection to lead us forward, not to hold us back.

I want to believe that there is Hope in the face of the darkness that many churches find themselves in. I want to believe that Pope Benedict will lead us forward into the future. I want to hope that he will come to the table with graciousness and compassion and the spirit of God.

After watching him preside at John Paul's funeral and lead these Cardinals into Conclave, I hope that Pope Benedict will do great things as his predecessor did. I want to believe that He can do the job of peacemaker and Vicar of Christ. I want to look forward, and I want us to be "church." I want to believe that Pope Benedict can lead us into the future and I want to believe that he has something to say, and something to teach. He is not John Paul, but we know that Cardinal Ratzinger as a man ALWAYS took time to be with students and fellows. We know that he is outspoken as a church man but from what I have learned that Joseph Ratzinger, now his Holiness Benedict XVI, is a compassionate and quiet man. He is the first German Pope in 1000 years, 1000 years!!!

I pray for him this night, and I hope he succeeds in bringing the church together and I hope that he unites us under his guidance and prayer. I pray he will step up and be a real "christlike" man. We will see in the coming days what he has to say, and how he will administer his position within the church in the world of Catholicism. He has BIG shoes to fill, and many young people have put their spiritual lives in his hands today. From watching the television all afternoon the young people came and they chanted and they prayed. The Youth of the world are watching and we expect great things. I was amazed to see today's outcome, but not surprised. I figured that he would be the logical choice as our next Pope. It may not be for 26 years, but we as a church have to believe that God put Joseph Ratzinger in this place for a reason. Maybe he will learn from Us and we will learn from Him.

We must move forward, we must "BE" church, and we must believe that we are right where we are supposed to be at this point of our spiritual journey. We must let Pope Benedict speak his truth and we need to listen. And we need to pray for the future of the Holy Catholic Church.

TheChurch must prosper and grow, and I hope our new Pope will walk with us and talk with us.

Germany must be proud, although I hear mixed reactions from many places in the world. We must give him a chance to walk this journey. This is not only our journey, but this is Joseph's journey as well. We have to believe that God has something to teach him as well. There are no coincidences. He was chosen for a reason, now we must allow God to show us what that reason is.

I HOPE for the church tonight, and I pray for peace, understanding and compassion.

God has made his choice and the spirit spoke clearly. Let us welcome Pope Benedict XVI into our lives and churches, and let us pray that his pontificate is blessed with courage and faith.

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