Monday, February 11, 2013

Musings on This Day and The Pope Stepping Down

First reaction to the news...
What a day.  Already.

The wind is whipping around the house outside.  Another storms on it's way if the weather man hasn't changed his mind since late last night.

And it looks like I have three babies, suddenly sick and showing various manifestations of the flu.  I know there's a good chance that I'm next because, because while I was asked three times during the combined seven days that I spent in the hospital if I wanted not just a flu shot, the pneumonia vaccine and a handful of others they don't normally give out, ultimately the vaccines were overruled by the doctors, over and over again, because I guess I'm considered to have compromised immunity.  Which doesn't bode well for not getting sick when I'm surrounded by sick little hooligans.

So I was already preparing for a long day with the babies while Paul was at school until late into the night.  And then I turned on my computer... and felt tears welling up.

My instinctive, reactionary first thought was that I just knew this day was going to be a bad one.  And that nothing could be worse than this (remember that's just my honest, knee jerk reaction, not how I logically think of what's going on).  Because if you haven't noticed, I started the day in a pessimistic sort of mood and it might take a few minutes more to wrestle it around into forced optimism.

Does anyone else feel like the rug has been pulled out from under them?  Or maybe like you've been socked in the stomach and feel tears stinging at the edges of your eyes.

I know, I know.

"It's all for the best."  

But I've heard that many times at various moments, all of which were very sad, and somehow it doesn't make it any less sad now, does it?

When I hear "it's all for the best" I think of the many times I heard it in the hospital last year in association with fetal abnormalities and so it's really better this way, which made me want to sock somebody in the nose.

I know that people mean well, but really... "It's all for the best" doesn't make very sad moments any easier, and I'm okay with doing away with the statement once and for all.

Say that we'll be alright because the Holy Spirit is guiding his Church through the trials and tribulations of the twenty first century... but let's not pretend that this isn't a sad moment for many of us.

Not that long ago (I think it was in the past month) we were watching something and the Pope walked across the screen, or maybe he was even just sitting and Paul said sadly that he didn't think he would be Pope much longer.  I think I half shushed him not to say something like that, irritated to even have such a thought introduced about our beloved B16.  Now it turns out that he was right.

Pope Benedict XVI is the only Pope I've ever known as a Catholic.  And I think he's been a pretty awesome one at that.  If he says he has a good reason to step down then he has a good reason to step down.

I'm still sad about it though.

I'll still be storming heaven, along with all the rest of you for our beloved Pope as he goes into retirement and for his successor who has yet to be elected.


  1. My first reaction was denial. I've heard this "he is going to step down" stuff so often because the MSM said it over and over about John Paul II, often claiming there was a document etc.

    So seeing that it appears it is true, I am sad. There is so much power in suffering and this Pope never wanted to be Pope, he wanted to retire and write books. I hope he has some peace in his retirement but I am not in favor of the whole idea of a Pope stepping down for any reason short of death. It simply seems wrong to me.

    That said, I'm starting my prayers for him and for his successor. Perhaps a novena.

    Now I gotta go dry my glasses so I can see.

  2. I know just how you feel :( He is the only pope I have known as a Catholic as well. I was very sad and a little nervous about what will all behold us in the future. Pray, pray , pray and trust

  3. A dear friend wrote and shared this this morning and I found it very moving. Thought I would share it with you.

    It made me feel better at least.

  4. I feel better knowing that I could have woken up to the news that His Holiness had passed away.

  5. hi, Cam. there really is something sad about losing a Pope, be it by resignation or being called back to the bosom of Abraham. i remember balling my little elementary school girl eyes out at the death of Pope John Paul I in the late 70's. It seems that the entire world mourned the death of Pope John Paul II. It could not have been an easy decision for Pope Benedict XVI to step down. My prayers join yours for him and his successor.
    I see you are now in Michigan from your previous snow day blog. Could you e-mail me your address to order more snoods? Thanks! Eastlyn (

  6. I wasn't sure what to make of the news when I found out. I saw a lot of Catholic-bashing which annoyed me, like accusations of the Pope stepping down to avoid responsibility for recent scandals, or falsely claiming that he was a Nazi (he actually defied the Nazi party even though it meant risking his life).

  7. When I first saw the headlines early this morning, I truly thought that it was a joke story by The Onion; I was just astonished when I discovered that it was true. Though I knew that a pope resigning was theoretically possible, it had never crossed my mind that it would actually happen in my lifetime, which has seen six - soon to be seven - popes.

    We have a close friend who is a brilliant, holy priest who just returned from Rome. He said that Pope Benedict was terribly frail and had great difficulty speaking at the audience, with slightly slurred speed. Fr. David feels that there is something seriously amiss physically, though he didn't venture a guess as to what. His hunch about possible successors is to look to Manila (Cardinal Tagle) or to Brazil (de Avis or Scherer.)

    The Holy Spirit will guide the electors. We are in for a very interesting and important month or two.

    God bless.



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