Thursday, 28 February 2013

The Closing of Doors...

"Dear friends,
I'm happy to be with you, surrounded by the beauty of creation and your well-wishes which do me such good. Thank you for your friendship, and your affection. You know this day is different for me than the preceding ones: I am no longer the Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church, or I will be until 8 o'clock this evening and then no more.
I am simply a pilgrim beginning the last leg of his pilgrimage on this Earth. But I would still ... thank you ... I would still with my heart, with my love, with my prayers, with my reflection, and with all my inner strength, like to work for the common good and the good of the church and of humanity. I feel very supported by your sympathy.
Let us go forward with the Lord for the good of the church and the world. Thank you, I now wholeheartedly impart my blessing. Blessed be God Almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Good night!
Thank you all!"


The Rest is Silence...

For of this I am certain,
that neither death,
nor life,
nor angels,
nor principalities,
nor things present,
nor things to come,
nor powers,
nor height,
nor depth,
nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us from the love of God 
in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

Waiting for a Miracle....

Dawn was the deepest  blood-red this morning...
Jagged naked black trees scarred the horizon like lightning in negative - like there was a crack in the sky and it was bleeding profusely...
Rather than work I could just as easily have been journeying through Hell.
Neither fading moon nor morning star.
No bird stirred - nor was there the regular sound of early-morning traffic...
Across the park neither early-riser nor dog-walker...
...and my wildest imaginings had me envisioning turning the corner to face a barren landscape surrounding a sparking industrial vast dismal nightmare City of Dis.
It felt like the end of the world...
I suppose the sky could have as easily been interpreted as cardinalatial?
But not by me.

Three hours to go before His Holiness departs in his helicopter...six before the Ring of the Fisherman is broken...and the Chair of St Peter will be empty..

I can't deny it.
I want a miracle.
I want the clouds to part and golden rays to illuminate the dusk more brightly than the Sun  and amidst angelic throngs I want Our Lady to descend and halt the proceedings.
Our Blessed Mother: Queen of Heaven: Queen of Rome: Queen of Priests...

I want the World to fall aghast in awe and incredulity as Our Lady introduces a white-bearded gruff palestinian whirlwind of a man, nailmarks in his calloused fisherman's hands, a smile that could melt hearts, throwing his arms around His Holiness and turning, presenting him to the dumbstruck Cardinals declaring in a voice that makes the heavens cower :

"This is my Successor! You will have no other while His mission goes unfulfilled. Help Him: Let Him help you...."
He raises a wooden crozier and the doors of the sistine chapel fly from their hinges...
"He is the Keeper of the Keys - there will be no Conclave while my brother breathes..."

Then behind St Peter appear four terrifying otherworldly entities of overwhelming beauty...
One of the Archangels speaks before the Cardinals, Bishops, Priests and Religious:
"Among you are those who have betrayed the Keys, betrayed the Precious Blood, hence you are commanded to sever all your ties and rebuke the Prince of this World - or face the consequences."
...the sword of St Michael gleaming in the twilight...
Some have fallen prostrate in prayer, some ashen-faced and frozen to the spot..others fleeing the scene like the hounds of hell were after them...all having no choice other than to believe the tenets within their priestly vows...
...and Our Blessed Mother turning to us all declares.
"This man speaks for my Son: Listen to him: Do as he bids you..."

But we haven't earned  a miracle...
We never deserved this Successor to Peter - this Gentle, Genteel, Genial, Genius German Grandfather...
Rome's loss is all our loss....
The Helicopter will ascend into the heavens towards the palace of silence...
And Benedict XVI...Father of Fathers, Servant of Servants, The Great Bridge...the First among Fishermen...the Shepherd of Shepherds... 
Will be gone.
And we must live with our regrets.

The clock ticks is now nearly two hours before His Holiness departs.
I can but watch and pray....and argue with my Guardian Angel that it's not too late for something to happen...

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Passing of the Ways....

"The Iron Tongue of Midnight hath told Twelve..."

...and the Successor to Peter leaves the role of Martha to adopt that of Mary; to lay himself in attentive prayer at the feet of Christ.

Venerable Brothers in the Episcopate and in the Priesthood!
Distinguished Authorities!
Dear brothers and sisters!

Thank you for coming in such large numbers in this last General Audience of my pontificate.
As the Apostle Paul in the biblical text that we have heard, I feel in my heart to have to especially thank God that guides and builds up the Church, which is sowing his Word and thus nourishes the faith in his people. At this moment my heart expands to embrace the whole Church throughout the world, and I thank God for the “news” that in recent years the Petrine ministry I could receive about faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love that circulates in the body of the Church and to live in love, and hope that it opens and directs us towards the fullness of life, towards the heavenly homeland.

I feel I bring all in prayer, in a present that is of God, where I collect every meeting, every trip, every pastoral visit. Everything and everyone gather in prayer to entrust them to the Lord, because we have full knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, and why we behave in a manner worthy of Him and His love, bearing fruit in every good work (cf. Col 1 0.9 to 10).

At this time, there is great confidence in me, because I know, all of us know, that the word of the truth of the Gospel is the power of the Church, it is his life. The Gospel purifies and renews, bears fruit, wherever the community of believers hears and receives the grace of God in truth and lives in charity. This is my belief and this is my joy.

When, on April 19, almost eight years ago, I agreed to take on the Petrine ministry, I always had the certainty that has always accompanied me. At that time, I had already stated several times, words that have been spoken in my heart were: Lord, what do you ask of me? The weight that you place on my shoulders is very great, but if you ask me, at your word I will let down the nets, confident that you will guide me. And the Lord has really driven, I was close, I could feel his presence every day. It ‘was a part of the journey of the Church that had moments of joy and light, but also moments that were not easy. I felt like St. Peter and the Apostles in the boat on the Sea of  Galilee.

The Lord has given us many days of sunshine and gentle breeze. Days when the fishing is plentiful, and there were also times when the water was rough and there was a head wind, as in the whole history of the Church and it appeared to us that the Lord appeared to be sleeping. But I always knew that the boat is in the Lord and I always knew that the boat of the Church was not mine, not ours, but was His and He would not let her sink, it is He who leads it, certainly through men that He had chosen, because He wanted it to be so. This was and this is a certainty that nothing can tarnish. And that’s why today my heart is filled with gratitude to God because He did not ever let the Church lack in any way especially His consolation, His light, His love.

We are in the Year of Faith, which I wanted to strengthen our own faith in God in a context that seems to put it more and more into the background. I would like to invite everyone to renew their firm trust in the Lord, to trust like children in the arms of God, resting assured that those arms support us and are what allow us to walk every day, even when this requires effort. I would like everyone to feel loved by the God who gave His Son for us and showed us His love without boundaries. I want everyone to feel the joy of being Christian. In a beautiful prayer to be recited daily in the morning, we pray: “I adore you, my God, I love you with all my heart. Thank you for creating me and for making me Christian … did. “Yes, we are happy for the gift of faith is the most precious thing. No one can take from us! We thank God for this every day, with prayer and with an authentic Christian life. God loves us, but waits for us and expects that we love him!

But it is not only God that I want to thank at this time. A Pope is not alone in the leading the ship of Peter, even if it is your primary responsibility, and I have not ever heard only bring joy and weight of the Petrine ministry, the Lord placed many people next to me, with generosity and love for God and the Church, have helped me and I have been close. First of all you, dear Brother Cardinals: your wisdom, your advice, your friendship was precious to me, my collaborators, starting with my Secretary of State who accompanied me faithfully over the years, the Secretariat of State and the whole of the Roman Curia, as well as all those who, in various fields, give their service to the Holy See: there are many unseen faces which are not arise, remain in the shade, but in the silence, in their daily work, in a spirit of faith and humility, they have been a safe and reliable support to me. A special thought to the Church of Rome, my diocese! I can not forget the Brothers in the Episcopate and in the Priesthood, consecrated persons and the entire People of God in the pastoral visits, in meetings, at the audiences, travel, I always received great care and deep affection, but I too have loved each and every one, without exception, with that pastoral charity which is the heart of every pastor, especially the Bishop of Rome, the Successor of the Apostle Peter. Every day I carried each of you in my prayers, the heart of a father.

I want my greetings to reach out to all of you, everywhere: the heart of a Pope extends to the whole world. And I would like to express my gratitude to the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See, which makes up, this, our great family of nations. Here I also think of all those who work for good communication system and I thank them for their important service.

At this point I would like to thank with all of my heart the many people around the world in recent weeks who have sent me touching tokens of attention, friendship and prayer. Yes, the Pope is never alone, now I experience it again in a way that is great and touches the heart. The Pope belongs to everyone and a lot of people feel very close to him. In the truth that I receive letters from the world’s largest – by the Heads of State, religious leaders, representatives of the world of culture and so on. But I also received many letters from ordinary people who write to me simply from their heart and make me feel their affection born out of experience with Christ Jesus, in the Church.

These people do not write to me as they write to a prince or a great one does not know. They write as brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, with the sense of family ties very affectionate. Here you can touch what is really the Church – not an organization, not an association for religious or humanitarian goals, but a living body, a community of brothers and sisters in the Body of Jesus Christ, who unites us all. We experience the Church in this way and could almost be able to touch it with your hands; the very power of his truth and love is a source of joy, in a time when many people speak of it in its decline.

In recent months, I felt that my strength had decreased, and I asked God earnestly in prayer to enlighten me with his light to make me take the right decision not for my sake, but for the good of the Church. I have taken this step in full awareness of its severity and also new, but with a deep peace of mind. Loving the Church also means having the courage to make tough choices, suffering, having always before the good of the Church and not themselves.

Allow me to return once again to April 19, 2005. The severity of the decision was precisely in the fact that from that moment on I was always and forever committed for the Lord. Always – those who assume the Petrine ministry no longer has any privacy. Always and totally belongs to everyone, the entire Church.

His life is, so to speak, totally deprived of the private sphere. I experienced, and I am experiencing it right now that one receives life just as He gives. I said before that a lot of people who love the Lord also love the Successor of Saint Peter and are very fond of him. I’ve said before that the Pope has truly brothers and sisters, sons and daughters all over the world, and that he feels in the embrace of their communion, because it no longer belongs to himself, instead he belongs to everyone, everywhere.

The “always” is also a “forever” – there is a return to the private sector. My decision to forgo the exercise of active ministry does not revoke this fact. I am not returning to private life, to a life of travel, meetings, receptions, conferences and so on. I am not abandoning the cross, but I am remaining at the foot of the Crucified Lord. I will no longer vest the power of the office for the government of the Church, but in the service of prayer rest, so to speak, in the yard of St. Peter. St. Benedict, whose name I bare as Pope, is a great example of this. He showed us the way to a life which, active or passive, belongs wholly to the work of God

I thank each and everyone for your respect and understanding with which you have welcomed this important decision. I will continue to accompany the journey of the Church through prayer and reflection, with dedication to the Lord and to his Spouse, with which I have tried to live up to now every day and which I want to live forever. I ask you to remember me before God, and above all to pray for the Cardinals, who are called to such an important task, and the new Successor of Peter, the Lord accompany him with the light and the power of his Spirit.

Let us invoke the maternal intercession of Mary, the Mother of God and of the Church that she may accompany each of us and the whole ecclesial community, to her, as we trust, deep trust.

Dear friends! God guides His Church, holds always, and especially in difficult times. Let us never lose this vision of faith, which is the only true vision of the Church and the world. In our heart, in the heart of each one of you, may there always be the joyous certainty that the Lord is near, do not abandon us, near us and surrounds us with his love. Thank you!

I am at a loss.
I do not understand and prayer brings little answer.
I think this is wrong: I truly believe this was not supposed to be...
...and that the wolves have claimed another victim.

But the Devil has never quite grasped that a willing victim of sin becomes united as a Martyr with He who conquered sin.

I cannot help but think that in this final Pontifical act His Holiness has sought to protect His flock at any price - to relinquish the Throne to save others from the burden of greatly heavier crosses [whether in general or particular is not for us to know] - and for not a fleeting instant thinking of Himself in the process. 

Rather than loosening the hold on His personal Cross: I believe He has instead shouldered the Crosses of many. 

 [Look at Archbishop Ganswein's tears - they could not hide that some great supernatural drama was unfolding - and that at that moment unbeknownst to many - this latest Peter was in Rome being recrucified with His Lord and Saviour] 

He is the Servant of Servants and finds no greater honour and privilege than in sacrificing Himself  for His lambs.

If He has been coerced from Office by the consummate defiance of misguided renegade ingrate fools then the enemy has inadvertently played into our hands.

For we will now have, in addition to a new Supreme Pontiff, a Pope Emeritus  - who will exercise all His Spiritual Power in devotion to prayer - actual grace will flood into Holy Mother Church and its enemies won't know what's hit them!  
Two Peters!!! 
A Bishop of Rome and a 'Petrus in Camera' [and I'll refrain from digressing into the eery congruency of this situation with the Vision of Don Bosco]
In this spiritual war one wonders which of the two will be fighting the biggest battle?

 "We’ve had enough exhortations to be silent! 
  Cry out with a hundred thousand tongues. 
  I see that the world is rotten because of silence!" ~  Saint Catherine of Siena.

I remain angry, incredulous, disconsolate that it has come to this - any Successor to Peter should - no matter how frail, weak or incapacitated - be able to be supported in His Ministry to the final prayer upon His lips as He breathes His last.

 "A day will come when the civilized world will deny its God, 
  when the Church will doubt as Peter doubted. 
  She will be tempted to believe that man has become God… 
  In our Churches Christians will search in vain for the red lamp 
  where God awaits them, like Magdalen weeping before the empty tomb, 
  they will ask ‘Where have THEY taken Him?’” ~ Pope Pius XII

But nothing happens save that God wills it.
Christus Vincit!

Angels watch over you, Your Holiness.

...and as for the rest of us?

 I'll leave that to the words of Ajax [which I tweeted to His Holiness]:

 "Father in Heaven 
   deliver us from this darkness
   and make our skies clear, 
   if we must die
   let us die in the Light"

 "But that is the beginning of a new story – the story of the gradual renewal of a man, the story of his gradual regeneration, of his passing from one world into another, of his initiation into a new unknown life. That might be the subject of a new story, but our present story is ended."

Thursday, 14 February 2013

What if we did this in Solidarity with His Holiness on the 28th? The Lighting of Beacons across the world ?

How about setting the world aflame?
Kindle Hope..
Real Light - with the Real Heat of Burning Passion?
Its fourfold message:
We thank you
- we are with you
- we love you
- we will never forget you...?

How about it?
If you like the idea - spread the word....

Feeling like Hagen...

Why Valentine?

Because it's never enough to just love someone
That someone needs to know they are loved
Think about it...What is the Mass?
Other than God made Man letting everyone know how much He loves God and His Neighbour?

A Jehovah's Witness gentleman knocked on the door last week.
Attempting to thrust a copy of the Watchtower in my hand he asked the generic question that a similar member of his religion asked me 30+ yrs ago
"Aren't you concerned with the state of the world?"

After the niceties and deference to their victimhood in the Holocaust and their evangelical zeal and rigorous adherence to their faith; he began the 'patter' which I refused to brook.
I hastily rapiered away the ridiculous ten minutes of apologetic foreplay - a spiel so familiar and formulaic it's redolent of a double-glazing salesman or a call centre trying to sell pet insurance...
We got to the crux within seconds..I launched an assault on their insertion of a single letter in the beginning of John's Gospel - turning Our Lord and Saviour from the Word was God to the Word was 'a god'

"Oh You're a Trinitarian?!!

"Absolutely! Dyed in the wool Trinitarian"

"..That's quite interesting because only the other day I was having a discussion about that with..."

"Is God Love?" I interjected...
He looked somewhat perturbed.
Before he could respond I asked

"If God is Love: Who is able to fully Love God the way He deserves
and who is able to be Loved fully by God?"
His eyes narrowed and he re-proffered the watchtower..

I smiled enthusiastically with a hint of pleading
"Answer: Only God!!!"

"Absolute Lover- Fully Reciprocating Loved - and the ever-flowing fullness of Love manifest in that Trinitarian Godhead...If God is Love - then there has to be a Trinity"

The man became ashen-faced, mumbled a few words, turned and fled as if I'd turned into a horde of demons ready to devour his soul...

Leaving me somwhat bemusedl wondering what exact concept instilled such horror to invoke his flight.

Could it have been fear that it's all true?
God Love You...
But Who Loves God?