Benedict the Benevolent
Eighteen months into his papacy, the Pope has shown the brilliance of his mind, the tenderness of his heart and the strength of his character to the world who knew little about his real person. The man who has been chosen by God to be His Vicar seems to have the whole world constantly watching and following his every move.
The benevolent Pope knows, with intimacy, the good God who has entrusted him with the care of the Holy Roman Catholic Church. He listens well to the Eternal Word and he is not afraid to proclaim It. As priest and Supreme Pontiff, he is sustained at every moment by Jesus the Word Made Flesh. He knows too well, from his childhood experiences that the rejection of God wreaks anarchy and comes from a source that is evil. And so his very words, his actions and his entire life are based on the Truth. He cooperates with It and defends It with his life.
To proclaim the Truth is the road that eventually leads to martyrdom. This is the road that all the saints have chosen. Pope Benedict was born to tread this road. The red papal vestments that he has worn symbolize his willingness for martyrdom - the red robes, shoes and hats are profound symbols. Furthermore, his words mean what they say and they say what they mean. Even when he was Cardinal Prefect, he was criticized for being a “hardliner”. Only when one obeys God’s commandments, lives them and is not afraid to teach them is one labeled as such. Yet, those who are not of the Catholic faith seem to be drawn to the authority of his words because their hearts are attracted to the Holy Spirit Who inspires him.
Benedict’s role is to unite all people in the truth. But what does it take to unite? He must proclaim the Truth with the firm hand of a father and the tender heart of a mother. The Truth will first divide the goats and the sheep and unite the faithful into one sheepfold. The Holy Father untiringly speaks of the truth and his words seem to be effective at this hour when he challenges not only the Islamic extremists but also the whole world with the Truth Who Is Jesus, with Faith that has Reason and with God Who Is Love.
And so “Be not afraid!” because in everything, God Triumphs in His Cross!
Pope Benedict is not afraid.