BISHOP EDWARD SCHARFENBERGER REFLECTS ON THE LIFE AND DEATH OF POPE EMERITUS BENEDICT XVI
Like Saint Joseph, Papa “Benedetto,” as the Italian children would chant to him at audiences I attended, always put his family first. You could feel his love some might call grandfatherly, intimate yet disciplined. More contemplative as he aged, even mystical, he was not distant or otherworldly, and with an almost impish sense of humor, never cranky. Not easy for a German!
For me, personally, he was always the priest, keeping Jesus at the center of his life, Mary-like. I will always admire his sacrificial humility. I am reminded of a prayerful plea of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, the Little Flower, Doctor of the Church, towards the end of her short life, “I want to spend my eternity doing good on earth.”
May the immense good Papa Benedetto did on earth also go with him, leaving an abundance behind, even as he journeys before us. We pray for him and with him as brothers and sisters in the Communion of Saints. Requiescat in pace.