Many have been shaken and moved to mixed emotions regarding the Pope's announcement that he will be resigning. I watched an interview of Cardinal Dolan by the Today Show and even he appeared as though he had not seen this coming. He stated it so eliquently, though, in that we see the humble nature of Pope Benedict XVI in his recognition that the office he serves requires much of him, in many ways, and he not longer feels equiped to fully execute his duties. A humble example of his very human nature!
All we can do now is pray for our Holy Father, and pray for the Holy Spirit to guide all our Cardinals as they look to elect the next successor to Saint Peter! It is a time to grieve the loss of our father, while also looking forward to the next chapter in our Church's history.
Certainly, the media will spin this as a weakening Catholic Church, or a Pope who felt he just couldn't handle the pressure anymore. As followers of the Catholic Church we must remember the amazing faith and holiness of our Holy Father, and to trust this decision was fully guided by the Holy Spirit. Is this the second spring that Pope John Paul II talked about? Are changes in store for the leadership of the Church? No one can predict what God has in store for us. All we can do is pray and trust that with God's guidance the Church will be led down a great path!
What emotions are you experiencing? How will you use this time to teach your children about the office of the Papacy? I am excited to experience this process for the first time as a member of the Catholic Church!