Tuesday, February 12, 2013

On our Holy Father, and other things.

Laura at Mothering Spirit has some beautiful and fitting words on our Holy Father's resignation, words that echo much of my sentiments on the wave of change we all witnessed yesterday.

My major comment of the day was an echo of her words, although less eloquent; most of my comments were that I felt as if my own grandpa had died. And, even though I know he is (thankfully!) still living, it is hard to see him go. Yet I am still excited to see that white smoke, and to proclaim "habemus papam!!" It is one of my favorite phrases.

You see, I was a freshman in college, saving up money for a trip to World Youth Day in Cologne when Blessed John Paul II passed, and when Pope Benedict was elected. Along with the rest of the world, I was somewhat skeptical, especially about how WYD would go with this old man at the lead. Boy, was I wrong. The minute we all saw his smiling face coming down through the crowd, we--all 1 million of us--were in love with our new grandpa. And he loved us; the love was palpable on both sides. I'd never been happier to pull an all-nighter (even as a college freshman) than when I got to stay up late with the Pope.

Some people wonder how we Catholics could love someone most of us have never met--especially an old man who lives thousands of miles away. But when you spend as much time as we do praying for someone, and appreciating the leadership and guidance he has offered freely and sacrificially, it isn't hard to understand our love.

I know our Holy Father has resigned out of humility and genuine love for us, and that the conclave will choose someone, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, who will do for the Church exactly what we need.


I just want to clear something up, about the post I edited a little while ago--the one about Lent and my Husband. I feel like I need to clear it up, for me, and then maybe it will be clearer to you too.

When I posted last week about my hubby, it was a vent, and it was uncharitable, considering no one here knows him. I can be extremely sensitive in our relationship, especially when he is stressed or tired, because as I wish to draw nearer to him, he wants to pull away in those times. He is good at solitude; he likes solitude. He is also very social, but he does really well by himself. I am not that way. At all.

I have been frustrated sometimes at the distance I feel between the two of us in times when he is experiencing a lot of stress, because it bleeds into everything we do and are. The stress mostly comes from his job--the job he works so so hard at, the one he attended dutifully everyday in order to support me and little A through grad school. But when he is stressed from work, it is all he can think about. I have tried everything in the book to distract him, to help him through it, to try to ignore it, everything. But it is consuming. And it affects everything we do until he starts feeling better. He can't sleep, he can't eat, he feels like he needs to run.

Thus, my Lenten sacrifice is going to be prayer for him. A lot of prayer for him. And I'm going to try to cheerfully allow the distance to be what it is, with a thankful heart, because I know he is faithful, and that he loves me even if I can't feel it in times like those. It will truly be a death to myself, and it is one I am ready and willing to take on. I hope our Blessed Mother can be my model and help in this.


Finally, I want you to know that I have not forgotten my promises and emotions about many of you, your waiting, your spiritual battles, your losses, your intentions. I think of you and pray for you every day, and especially at Mass. You are on my heart.


  1. I liked Cardinal Ratzinger, but I quickly learned to love Papa Ben as well.

  2. About your Lent/husband comments: I wonder if that's a male thing, generally. My husband is very single-minded which is a huge advantage when he's focusing on something important, like schoolwork, but less helpful when I'm trying to get his attention (for example). I find it really helpful just to recognize that he's different from me (I'm constantly thinking of/doing several things at once). I think that's beautiful that you'll be praying for him - it will be exciting to see what changes God works in your heart and your relationship!

  3. Ecce, that is a really good point. I know that part of the challenge for me is this: I recognize that he is different from me, and even that God made him that way on purpose. Intellectually, I can appreciate our differences, and understand why they are necessary and good. But the challenge really lies in thinking that, since I recognize the differences, and since he doesn't seem to "give" in those moments, that I am the only one dying to self. That part is hard. But it is necessary, and good, to be purified of that selfishness--my own self-pity at having to sacrifice in those moments. So, I guess that purification is part of the Lenten sacrifice. Whew! Lord, help me. :)

  4. Habemus papam is one of my favorite phrases too. I remember the joy being able to say it back in 2005. Can't wait to do it again.

    I think it's wonderful that you're going to pray for your husband. I need to do that more.


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