March 2, 2013
Welcome to Sabbath Moments, the meme hosted by Colleen at Thoughts on Grace. Won’t you join us?
Each morning as part of my prayer time during Lent I’ve been reading two meditations from my new treasury of stations which I wrote about here. I’m doing this for the practical reason of getting acquainted with the individual sets in the treasury and also to be inspired by the Lord’s passion. Since I can’t get out for Stations on Fridays, this is a way to participate throughout the week and keeps those Sabbath Moments alive.
Sleet, snow, and rain
God has blessed us with quite a bit of precipitation this week which will help with the drought. Rain on the roof, sleet striking the windows, and snow swirling in the air are tangible reminders that God is there and always keeping us and our needs in mind.
Good-bye Pope Benedict
I watched the Pope’s exit from St. Peter’s and his final farewell at Castel Gandolfo, the bells tolling in the background. A sentence from his final words really struck me: “I am simply a pilgrim beginning the last leg of his pilgrimage on this earth.” Again his humility, clear vision, and sense of purpose struck me. What he said applies to me. None of us knows how long we will live, but as we age if we are gripped by the reality of our mortality and our final end, we know as our now Pope Emeritus said, that we are on the last leg of our pilgrimage to the holy site of heaven.
The Church is engaged in a pitched battle with the forces of evil within and without Her Mystical Body. Although this has been true from the beginning, it seems much more intense in this Godless age. If we could hear the sounds of the hell going on around us, we might well be deafened.
The world attacking the Holy Father and the Church is understandable. More difficult to understand and accept are the attacks from the faithless shepherds, especially those in high places who are polluting Her from within and who are totally committed to Her destruction. The extent of corruption in the Curia and in bishops’ conferences around the world is almost too much to take in. Judases everywhere. The battle Benedict XVI has taken on now will be fought behind closed doors in prayer and penance.
We have a great history of hermits in the Church. Holy men and women who fled to the desert to devote every hour of their days to silence, prayer, and penance are part of our tradition. God permitted the devil to physically attack many of them and they endured severe hardship. They were and are the great spiritual warriors who held up the rest of the faithful in prayer. Our Pope Emeritus is joining this band of hermits, although not in an actual desert but in a small monastery on Vatican grounds. He will continue his study and writing, too, as St. Jerome did in his desert, outside of the view of the world.
I am confident that this last leg of his pilgrimage on earth will help the Church purge Herself of much of the internal corruption, and will help make the New Evangelization fruitful. We won’t see it, but we will experience the results. Whoever the next Pope is, he will be immeasurably strengthened by Benedict XVI’s prayers. And ours, too. Let us also remember that His Holiness will need our prayers to finish his course on earth valiantly. We’re all in this together.
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R. Now and forever!
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