Following the Lord Up the Mountain

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Teresa Tomeo on Feb 25, 2013
Tagged in: Teresa's Blog

PopelastAngelusI did it again. As I read yet another beautiful message from Pope Benedict I started to cry. The words of this incredibly humble teacher and theologian often bring me to tears as what he says about Jesus, the Church, and life in general is always so clear and meaningful. However, this time I cried not only because his message after the Sunday Angelus was again a statement that cuts right to the heart of our faith, the tears started to flow when I realized that this is the last Angelus message Pope Benedict will deliver. While I am excited to see what the Holy Spirit has in store for the Church, a part of me is still sad. I don’t want to let go of Pope Benedict. His contributions over the past eight years have been life-changing for me. He has strengthened my faith. He has given me courage. And most of all he has helped me better understand Church teaching by helping me see myself and the Catholic Church through the eyes of Jesus. 


Since Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger stepped into the role of the Vicar of Christ for some reason I have felt compelled to constantly tell my listeners, the readers of my Our Sunday Visitor columns and those who attend my speaking events to read this Pope’s writings.  And in the last year or so I don’t think one week went by on my radio program where I didn’t feel a real sense of urgency regarding this encouragement.   At first I thought it was just because his teachings were always so poignant and prophetic.  He has a way of just getting to the bottom of the issues and helping us see truth and beauty.  He was not afraid to defend marriage, life in all of its stages, and to take a strong stand against a culture that continues to treat the human person as nothing more than a pleasure seeking machine. Now I realize it was the Holy Spirit sending me this sense of urgency to constantly bring attention to the gifts of Pope Benedict; he would only serve as our Pope for a short 8 years.


In a few days the chair of Peter will be “sede vacante” or vacant.  Benedict, in an act of pure humility and love, is stepping down as the leader of the Roman Catholic Church.  He loves Jesus and the Church so much that he wants what is best for Her and he knows physically he is no longer up to the task. So at the risk of being redundant and sounding like a broken record, or shall I say a broken CD or IPod,  I want to give another shout out to the teachings of this incredible man. Here is a link to his Sunday Angelus message where he shares how the Gospel reading concerns our Lord’s Transfiguration.


I leave you with not only the link, but a quote from Benedict reminding us that he is not leaving us.  He is instead following the Lord up the mountain in order to better serve Him and His Church.  Well done good and faithful servant!


“Dear brothers and sisters, I feel that this Word of God is particularly directed at me, at this point in my life. The Lord is calling me to "climb the mountain," to devote myself even more to prayer and meditation. But this does not mean abandoning the Church, indeed, if God is asking me to do this it is so that I can continue to serve the Church with the same dedication and the same love with which I have done thus far, but in a way that is better suited to my age and my strength. Let us invoke the intercession of the Virgin Mary: may she always help us all to follow the Lord Jesus in prayer and works of charity.”


Photo: Courtesy CNS photo/Paul Haring