These were some of the favorite words of Blessed Pope John Paul II ... I remember them well and can still hear his voice saying them... "Be Not Afraid!"
This morning when I got online and saw the news that Pope Benedict XVI will be retiring at the end of the month, the shock wore off and the worry set in. In this current culture of relativism, "all about me", everything must be "progressive"... it is hard not to worry. It is hard not to be concerned about who will be chosen to lead my beloved church. But the words of Blessed Pope John Paul II came to me... "be not afraid"... that phrase is so calming. Just simply saying it brings a peace to my heart. I've been repeating it endlessly this morning!
The timing is no accident, I know. Just before the start of Lent when we are called to place ourselves in the desert to prepare for Easter - how joyful to have additional incentive for our sacrifices and prayers! We have not only the joy of Easter to look forward to, but the anticipation of finding out who our new shepherd will be.
Pope Benedict XVI, both in his service as
Supreme Pontiff and in his discernment to step down has given us an
extraordinary witness and example of what it means to truly seek out and
follow the will of God. He is such an amazing man of God and an
incredible man of courage. Knowing this, I can only but trust the will God and the trust the discernment of His chosen shepherd, Pope Benedict.
And so, I will pray. I will let go. and I will let God take over.