SATURDAY HOMILY: Preparing for the papal transition
Through it all he has always remained a Christ-like figure, who like a lamb led to the slaughter never opened his mouth.
To everyone, friend and foe alike, Benedict has been the paragon of graciousness, whether it be his former colleague and inveterate heretic, Hans Kung, or the papal butler, Paolo Gabriele, who violated the trust of the pope by leaking confidential documents to the press. Benedict invited Kung to dinner at the Vatican and he chose to give a Christmas pardon to his butler who had just begun to serve his 18 month jail sentence for the crime.
Those who follow us will see even more clearly the greatness of the man and the brilliance of the Benedictine papacy of Joseph Ratzinger. How blessed we are to have lived in these times! In the nearly eight short years of his pontificate, he has produced volumes of eloquent and inspired writings and has conquered hearts throughout the world with his gentle demeanor. In spite of his age and opposition from without and from within the Church, Benedict XVI has guided the Barque of Peter over the waters of our turbulent times with a steady hand.
He entered the world stage in the shadow of a giant, Blessed John Paul the Great. All too soon he will unceremoniously retire from the spotlight to commence a life dedicated to solitude and prayer for the Church he so deeply loves and has so faithfully served.
May we show him how much we love him and appreciate him by entrusting him to the care of the Mother of God.
V. Let us pray for our Sovereign Pontiff Pope Benedict XVI.
R. The Lord preserve him and give him life, and make him blessed upon the earth, and deliver him not to the will of his enemies.
Father G. Peter Irving III is a priest of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and is Pastor of Holy Innocents Church, Long Beach, California.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Fr. G. Peter Irving III, Holy Innocents Church Long Beach, Pope Benedict XVI, Joseph Ratzinger, Richard McBrien, Peggy Steinfels, Scott Appleby, Peter Hebblethwaite, papal conclave, John Paul II, love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you, papacy,
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