Thank You, Papa!

full moon vatican feb 27 2013Just 24 hours left in the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI and I am more in love with my Church and my faith than ever before. I’ve been pouring over blog posts from so many of you and eating up all the history and catechism refreshers.

I truly admire and love this Pope. I pray the conclave does God’s will and I hope God’s will is to bring a new springtime in.  What BXVI started in this year of faith really has created a mission heart in me and so many others–I don’t have to go to Africa or India to be a witness for my faith. I can do it right here in my little world, here in Alpharetta, Georgia and also here in my little place in the blogosphere.

Thank you Pope Benedict for your life of service to the Church. I am so happy you will be able to live out your days in prayer and comfortable brown shoes from Leon, Mexico.  XOXO, Number 9

***

“The upcoming Year of Faith is a “summons to an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord, the One Savior of the world” (Porta Fidei 6). In other words, the Year of Faith is an opportunity for Catholics to experience a conversion – to turn back to Jesus and enter into a deeper relationship with him. The “door of faith” is opened at one’s baptism, but during this year Catholics are called to open it again, walk through it and rediscover and renew their relationship with Christ and his Church.”

Pope Today: The Tempter Is Subtle, Pushing Us To a False Good

pope-benedict-1-sizedOver one-hundred thousand faithful prayed this morning with Pope Benedict XVI in the penultimate Angelus of his pontificate. The Pope thanked people for their prayers, support and spiritual closeness, “in these particular days for the Church and for [himself].”

Commenting on the Gospel of Jesus’ temptations in the desert, proclaimed on this first Sunday of Lent, Pope Benedict said,

“The tempter is subtle: he does not push us directly toward evil, but to a false good.”

Each of us has his or her individual definition of what this “false good” may be.  For alcoholics, we are tempted by what we perceive to be the good parts of drinking…the conviviality, the relaxation, camaraderie.

The Holy Father went on to explain that, ultimately, what is at stake in the temptations is faith.

“In the decisive moments of life, but, if we look closely, in every moment, we are at a crossroads: do we want to follow the self, or God?” Jesus took temptations from us in order to give us the victory. We do not fear the fight against the spirit of evil. The important thing is that we battle together with him, with God who is the victor.”

The Angelus
V
. The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.
R. And she conceived by the power of Holy Spirit.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
V. Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
R. Be it done unto me according to your Word.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
V. And the Word was made flesh.
R. And dwelt among us.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
V. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray: Pour forth, we beseech thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts, that we to whom the incarnation of Christ Thy Son was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His resurrection; through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Glory be…

Best Analysis-Commentary on Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI

vatican-hit-by-lighting-as-pope-says-he-is-stepping-downThis is the best analysis I’ve found of the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI.  The author is trustworthy as a Catholic faithful to the teachings of the Church.

Unlike me, who immediately took to my blog first to love and support the Pope, then to proclaim my hope for the future and then to defend the faith from jerks 🙂 —yes, unlike me, this author Steve Jalsevac over at Lifesite News, took a few days to process the news. And his article here shows excellent reason and discernment to the truth about what all of this means for the Catholic Church in the world.

Here is an excerpt, and then please click here to find the entirety of his message:

February 14, 2013, (LifeSiteNews.com) – Since Pope Benedict’s shock announcement Monday, I have held off commenting. Time was needed to step back and consider just what  this astounding action from the world’s leading defender of life and family really meant. It was an earthquake announcement that had to have greater significance than the Pope merely being tired and worn out.  The two lightning strikes onto the dome of St. Peter’s that evening added an uncanny emphasis that the Pope’s action demanded the world’s attention.

READ MORE

Fat Tuesday, Pope Benedict and the Haters

hatersI’ve injured my back, not by one big accident or fall, but by four long road trips in six weeks, sitting at the computer on my arse every day, and neglecting to heed the dull signals when they first appeared in December.  I know better but rarely does knowing better do me any good.  So, here I am with a bulging disc, pain radiating down my left leg alternating between ice and heat, overdosing on Ibuprofen and feeling quite sorry for myself.

Fat Tuesday is supposed to be a fun day.

Nothing to do but lie on my back. And I’ve been online all day–mainly reading the Pope stories.  I love Pope Benedict XVI.  I have always admired him from the very first day he was elected back in 2005.  Back then there were so many opinions about how choosing him was an “opportunity lost” for the faith because he wasn’t “progressive.”  And he wasn’t expected to change the Church teachings to make everybody feel good.  The haters were out then; but I actually took comfort every time they spewed their venom because it reinforced for me the Church had elected the right man.  The more they hated, the happier I was with our new Pope.

It amazes me the awful things people say–there is so much hate.  My Catholic Church and faith is one of the only groups it’s culturally acceptable to persecute.  And don’t freak out that I am using the word, “persecute.”  I looked it up:

per·se·cute  /ˈpərsəˌkyo͞ot/ Verb, Subject (someone) to hostility and ill-treatment, esp. because of their race or political or religious beliefs. Harass or annoy (someone) persistently. Synonyms: pursue – torment – pester – chase – harass

So yes, I am using the right diction here.  Persecute. It’s not acceptable (thank goodness!) to persecute black people, women, Muslims or gay people. But for some reason it is accepted in mainstream culture to openly treat the Catholic Church with hostility.

These “comments” are taken in five minutes from one mainstream random article.  I could multiply these over and over.  And actually these are pretty tame compared to what I’ve read today about my Pope.

  • He looks very old
  • Very interesting at the time of the 1929 stock market crash the Vatican becomes its own nation state.
  • leave the perverse ponzi scheme to someone else… smh
  • They should do away with the whole “pope” thing.
  • Who would want to be the head of huge corporation bogged down in the 16th century
  • Your God is Imaginary
  • The weak link in Catholicism is The Church
  • the vatican is the number 1 crooks in the world
  • The Catholic church is an antiquated and self-serving organization which has systematically suppressed women and exploited children in the name of God.
  • It acquired it’s wealth by conquering other civilizations and forcing them into slavery
  • It defamed good women biblical figures by declaring them prostitutes when they were not
  • Only to propagate its patriarchal theology
  • How do people still associate themselves with this corrupt corporation?
  • Perhaps he does not want to end up publicly drooling into his lap like the previous pope.
  • Heck, I’m still waiting for the definitive explanation of how the Inquisition took place for over 400 years. That included over 12,000 burnings at the stake, many alive.
  • Pedophilia?
  • a convenient way to step down from the troubles he doesn’t want to deal with
  • The Church is Big Business and these smaller parishes are simply like 7-11’s 
  • Pope Benedict XVI, the leader of the Catholic Church, is stepping down because he didn’t believe enough in God.
  • it seems the pope’s brother believes it was the butler and business leaks, and NOT children’s sexual abuse for decades that pooped the pope. what a disgrace.
  • Defiling a childs innocence is fine as long as you don’t leak documents in the proccess! 
  • Vatileaks is what weighed on the pope and not the rampant pedophilia scandal
  • The 15th century is the last time anything was updated in the roman catholic church
  • if anyone has evil secrets, it is Fr. Ratzinger.

So how do I respond to this?  Do I reply and respond back on anonymous commentary at the bottoms of articles?  Do I fight back, say what I really think about the character of the people making these attacks?  Do I roll my eyes and blow it off?  These attacks are so uncensored.  The people who hate the Catholic Church make no efforts to hide their anger.  It’s as if they feel safe attacking the Church because they have so many with them on their side who feel the same way. Strength and courage in numbers, I suppose?

It doesn’t hurt my feelings, per se. It’s more like reading minutes from a secret KKK meeting—like standing outside the monkey cage at the zoo. All these crazy monkeys making a scene and I just watch in amazement because they’re just so, well, uncivilized.

No, it doesn’t “hurt.”  It would only hurt if what they were saying were the truth.  What it does is make me want to defend this beautiful Catholic faith of mine. And stick up for the amazing, humble, holy man who is Pope now only for two more weeks–but what will that accomplish after all?

There is nothing I can say to a bully that would make a bit of difference.  No point trying to rationalize with this hate.  Actually, I just need to get it off my own chest, punch a few pillows.

So, I’m going to say it here in my blog, what I really feel.

SCREW ALL OF YOU.  YOU SUCK.  GET A LIFE.  YOU IGNORANT ANGRY STUPID PEOPLE.  GROW UP. YOU IDIOTS HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT. BUILD A BRIDGE AND GET OVER IT.  NOBODY WANTS TO HEAR YOUR RANTS. GO AWAY YOU HOPELESS LOSERS.

But I forgive you, I suppose.  Because you obviously know not what you do. Plus I went to an AA meeting today, which always helps me love my fellow-man more.

I feel much better now.

 

A Sanguine’s Take On Pope Benedict’s Resignation

52733683FO001_pope

‎”I, too, hope in this short reign to be a man of peace.”(Pope Benedict XVI)

So many gloom and doomers out there.  And the twitterverse is disgusting over the news of Pope Benedicts resignation.

Pope Benedict loves the Church. He would only resign if he thought it best for the Church–there is humility and an obvious patience to this decision at all!  I’m sure he wants to have a say in who the next Pope is before he dies so we don’t get one that will take us down the wrong path.

I have a good feeling about this! I’m confident Pope Benedict in prayer knows God will give us the next right head. I am confident and hopeful! Prayers for Pope Benedict and all of us.

As he says in his opening paragraph of his encyclical on Hope (Christ Our Hope), “The present, even if it is arduous, can be lived and accepted if it leads towards a goal, if we can be sure of this goal, and if this goal is great enough to justify the effort of the journey”

This link shows the composition of the make up of the conclave who will be electing the new pope.


Dear Brothers,
I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonisations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church.

After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry. I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering.

However, in today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognise my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me.

For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is.

Dear Brothers, I thank you most sincerely for all the love and work with which you have supported me in my ministry and I ask pardon for all my defects. And now, let us entrust the Holy Church to the care of Our Supreme Pastor, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and implore his holy Mother Mary, so that she may assist the Cardinal Fathers with her maternal solicitude, in electing a new Supreme Pontiff. With regard to myself, I wish to also devotedly serve the Holy Church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer.

More from the Vatican blog on the composition of the conclave:

Vatican City, 11 February 2013 (VIS) – The conclave to elect the successor of Benedict XVI will be regulated by the “Ordo Rituum Conclavis” established by John Paul II’s apostolic constitution “Universi Dominici Gregis”, para. 27. The Cardinal Camerlengo, who has a fundamental role during the Sede Vacante period, is Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, appointed by Benedict XVI on 4 April 2007.

The Cardinal electors, by their continents of provenance, will be 61 Europeans, 19 Latin Americans, 14 North Americans, 11 Africans, 11 Asians, and 1 from Oceania. These figures may vary depending on the date that the conclave opens: for example, Cardinal Walter Kasper will turn 80 on 5 March. The country with the greatest number of Cardinal electors is Italy, with 21. Sixty-seven of the electors were created by Benedict XVI and the remaining 50 by John Paul II.

One of John Paul II’s innovations regarding the period of conclave is that the Cardinal electors―of whom there will be 117 on 28 February―will be housed in the Vatican residence Casa Santa Marta, which is independent from the place where they vote, the Sistine Chapel.

The Cardinal electors must remain in the Vatican during the entire period of conclave, and no one can approach them when they move from the Sistine Chapel to their place of residence or vice versa. All forms of communication with the outside world are prohibited. As in the past, the Sistine Chapel stove will be used to burn the ballots after each vote.
Published by VISarchive 02 – Monday, February 11, 2013

http://visnews-en.blogspot.com/2013/02/pope-renounces-papal-throne.html

http://visnews-en.blogspot.com/2013/02/cardinal-sodano-expresses-college-of.html

http://visnews-en.blogspot.com/2013/02/director-of-holy-see-press-office-on.html

Hope Flows

Girl with a balloonThis hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil. Hebrews 6:19

Looking back at some of my old posts I was drawn today particularly to this one which sounds a lot like where I am today.  A little disconcerting to realize this was written almost five years ago, back in 2008–and I’m still in “this place today.”  Yikes!

The truth is my spiritual, family and professional life travels in cycles: re-birth, exploration, running the race, and the fall. Would love to avoid the falls, but the older I get I realize how necessary the falls are in leading me to more growth.

I’m in a re-birth phase today, in transition in all areas of my life:

From professional salesperson to my true love, which is writing with an eye for marketing and design.

From Mom of two little boys that need full-time supervision to having a lot more independence–Ben is old enough to “babysit” so even at night my husband and I can go out for a couple of hours and leave them at home if we want to.  Also, they’re both needing me less and less for help with school.  They attend a top Catholic school and the academics can be quite rigorous.  It seems they’re in their grooves, keeping up, handling the workloads on their own.

From newlywed and “young married couple” to a 15 year marriage that has weathered some storms and has the scars to prove it.  There is an acceptance and humility in our marriage now.  We’re not invincible anymore.  We need to actively “protect” and nurture our marriage.  It doesn’t run on autopilot anymore.

From financial fairytale ignorance to cultivating and developing a financial plan for our family that is diversified and works with reality, not with dreams. Investing all of our time and money in real estate, dreaming our investments would sustain us to and through retirement turned out to not be a great plan when the housing market tanked, along with our “dreams.”

From daughter who brings all my problems to my Mom to adult daughter who realizes that my 80-year-old parents need some help.

From a three-year stressful period of not taking care of myself physically to beginning again my self-care, more AA meetings and more running.

abandon hope2I love my life today. I feel good.  I have hope. As Pope Benedict said in the opening paragraph of his encyclical on Hope, “The present, even if it is arduous, can be lived and accepted if it leads towards a goal, if we can be sure of this goal, and if this goal is great enough to justify the effort of the journey.”

Hope is one of the great themes in the Bible. The Pope observes a deep link  between faith and hope, so much so that, in some passages, they are almost “interchangeable.” He draws on the Letter to the Hebrews, Letter to the Ephesians and other New Testament letters to make his point.

In Ephesians, our Pope points out to us, “To come to know God—the true God— means to have hope.”

He discusses Paul’s encounter with the Ephesians. “Before their encounter with Christ they were ‘without hope and without God in the world’ (Eph 2:12).” In spite of their empty gods, the Ephesians “were ‘without God’ and consequently found themselves in a dark world, facing a dark future.”

Hope, of course, in and through Christ, leads to the light.

I had a rebirth of hope back in 2007–I remember it distinctly.  But it wasn’t even a couple of years later–in 2009 I went back to work in sales to ease our financial troubles at home–when my priorities shifted, and God was eased out of His place of prominence in my life. My spiritual life (from which the rest of my life breathes) didn’t flow.  Funny how life doesn’t flow very well when I’m not remembering to live in God’s will every morning.

It wasn’t on purpose.  I got attracted to working again, having a lot of money, being praised and liked by others. I won sales awards, and I chased each next thing I could accomplish to get me more praise and attention. More!

The malaise snuck up on me.  Taking a good job with plenty of income and benefits seemed to be a good idea at the time. It was a good thing, right?  But little by little I was losing “myself” by drifting from my God, chasing as Pope Benedict described above “empty gods.”

I have finally turned the corner to head back in His direction with my full attention.  It’s weird to say this, but quitting my job last April was the first step for me back to God.  And I have HOPE once again. We just don’t have much money. 🙂

My “goal” is God will.  And if I remember each morning to ask God to direct my thinking and my actions for this day, then hope flows. It’s as simple as that. Yay!