Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sede Vacante

 The time has come:
Dear Brothers,  I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonizations, 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 recognize 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.

From the Vatican, 10 February 2013


The words of a prophet are so very appropriate:
"Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in sight of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel."

Luke 2:29-32

May God bless Pope Benedict XVI! The Church gratefully acknowledges his life-long contributions to her salvific mission as priest, bishop, and supreme pontiff.  May the Holy Spirit guide the Cardinal Electors in their duty to elect a new Servant of the Servants of God.

The ring has been destroyed.

The shoes of the Fisherman are to be filled.

Let the interregnum begin.

Monday, February 18, 2013

A Wandering Completed

Once in a while I take the time to read a story about how someone has converted to Catholicism.  The ones which grab my attention are those that take a more intellectual path to get to the shores of the Tiber.  Today while perusing my Facebook account, I was introduced to another one of those kind of conversions.  (A fedora doff to Aristotle Esguerra for the link).

While I was reading the article and noticing pictures of the 'blog's author, I thought to myself, "He looks familiar." In response to some of the comments made at the end of the piece, to identify himself, the icon he uses is a current picture of himself.  I checked the bar of those people who read my words via Networked Blog.

Sure enough, he is an occasional visitor to my infinitesimal corner of the universe.

Now, conversion is the work of the Holy Spirit.  Trust me, I don't look like the third Person of the Blessed Trinity.  If my 'blog was any help in his decision, as poor of an example of a practicing Catholic as I am, may it please God.  I doubt it, though.  His reading list is one I need to adopt.

Congratulations, Billy! Welcome to Rome.  May God continue to guide your steps and bestow the grace needed to follow Him.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

"...My Disciples Be"

Ash Wednesday has arrived again on the liturgical calendar; and with it, the beginning of Lent.

The call to repentance, renewal, and reformation of our lives in all areas, as we prepare for the Church's greatest feast, sounds it's clear clarion call to the faithful around the world.

The blessed ashes, the remnants of the palms from last Holy Week, remind us of that temporal reality as they are placed upon our forehead:  "Remember you are dust, and unto dust you will return."  It is a sign that we are more than just the stuff of the earth; we are both body and soul.

We wholly belong to God; how that relationship is sustained and maintained comes into more focus over the next 40 days.  That review begins with an acknowledgement of our sinfulness and how we must continue to "turn away from sin and believe in the Gospel."  Need I remind you of the words of St. John in his First Letter? I occasionally talk about the loss of a sense of sin in our lives, that is seems nothing we do offends God.  Think about you own human relationships.  You don't do or say things that damage those interactions? The same principle applies with our divine relationship.

"Now is an acceptable time.  Now is the day of salvation."  St. Paul exhorts us not to deny or delay the process of conversion.  Yes, it is and will be hard work.  Yes, with the help of the Holy Spirit, it can be accomplished.  No, it is not and never a "one and done" proposition.  All the days of our lives require this effort.  All the more reason to turn to the Church for guidance.

Another Lenten journey commences.  Take up the Cross.  Follow Jesus Christ on the way to Calvary, the narrow gate through which salvation comes.

Prodigal children, the Father awaits.                                                                                                                          

Friday, February 01, 2013

February 2013 Morning Offering Prayer Intentions

Here are the prayer intentions for this month when reciting the Morning Offering:
General:  Migrant Families. That migrant families, especially the mothers, may be supported and accompanied in their difficulties. 
Mission:  Peace. That the peoples at war and in conflict may lead the way in building a peaceful future.