Merry Christmas! ~Day 7


Image: Adoration of the Shepherds, Pharaon de Winter,  more about it here.

Comes the word that Pope Benedict XVI passed around 9:30 this morning Rome time.  I'm not surprised he left during the Christmas octave. He loved Christmas so, and was one of those rare souls capable of celebrating it.  And he lived so close to the liturgy, always. Born on Easter Vigil, died at Christmas. 

I will do another post dedicated solely to his legacy because the onslaught of lies from people who don't know what they are talking about is going to sweep over us. For now, enough to say I loved him because it's impossible not to love the people who bring you Jesus. There have been times in my life when only his writing stood between me and despair, and in an age of corruption he has been a truth-teller; in an age of rage and wild hostility he has been a meek and humble soul. And he never preached a word that wasn't in service of his Master and in quest of beauty, truth and goodness. 

Update: It occurs to me, as the year draws to a close and it's time to sing Te Deum to close out the year, 
to read BXVI's last Te Deum message as pontiff,  Dec. 31, 2012 

The Te Deum we are raising to the Lord this evening, at the end of a solar year, is a hymn of thanksgiving that opens with praise: “We praise you, O God: We acclaim you as Lord” — and ends with a profession of trust — “in you, Lord, we put our trust; we shall not be put to shame”. However the year went, whether it was easy or difficult, barren or fruitful, let us give thanks to God. Indeed the Te Deum contains deep wisdom, that wisdom which makes us say that in spite of all good exists in the world and that this good is bound to win thanks be to God, the God of Jesus Christ, who was born, died and rose again.

At times of course it is hard to understand this profound reality, because evil is noisier than goodness; an atrocious murder, widespread violence, grave forms of injustice hit the headlines; whereas acts of love and service, the daily effort sustained with fidelity and patience are often left in the dark, they pass unnoticed. For this reason too, we cannot stop at reading the news if we wish to understand the world and life; we must be able to pause in silence, in meditation, in calm, prolonged reflection; we must know how to stop and think. In this way our mind can find healing from the inevitable wounds of daily life, it can penetrate the events that occur in our life and in the world and can attain that wisdom which makes it possible to see things with new eyes.