Sunday, February 17, 2013

Further Musings on the Abdication

Pope Benedict the XVI is essentially the only pope my generation ever knew. We had John Paul II, of course, but he died when I was still what I would (now) consider little, so, in as far as someone on my level could ever really know any major authority figure, Pope Benedict is the only pope I've ever known.

The abdication - all but unheard of - is dredging up an entire section of my life I had conveniently tucked somewhere between the Liturgy of the Hours One-Volume and the copy of the Catechism I was given on the day of my conversion.

A conversion which has largely stalled.

I don't live in a world very conducive to keeping the faith, and I keep it that way, frankly, on purpose. My best experiences are almost always learning something new, doing something I've never done before, or, failing transcendence, proving people wrong. To that end I do my best to culture an open mind as much as is humanly possible. That means I'm not willing to set aside friends or occupations to make keeping the faith easier. I just won't do it.

Now, Benedict XVI is impressive, to me. In an age where the papacy is synonymous with dusty old men, past their brain's expiry dates, in most cases, dying on a throne of inordinate power that almost everyone thinks they could wield better than the current holder... he gave it up. A lifetime of being doted on, of being a world leader with reach second only to that of a nuclear power, and he said "It's just not worth it anymore."

I almost have to wonder if he wasn't tempted to stay. Surely, his mind still works. I know he was sick, but...

It's interesting to think about.

I've learned he's going to be residing at Mater Ecclesiae in Rome as a monastic, which will require major modifications to the structure, since M.E. is a convent. I should hope he brings some brothers along with him - the life of the hermit is a good way to go mad - but I also wonder if there wasn't an existing order he might have been more suited to.

But what do I know? I'm a lapsed catholic. Have been for nearly a year. Sometimes I'm sad about that. Other times, I prefer not to think about it.

Who knows?

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