As of this morning, nebulous emotional responses regarding the Holy Father’s announcement to resign are just that–nebulous. Once I achieve the emotional distance needed to process such fickle things and conjure up the clarity needed to express such wily things, I will consider another blog post.
I will say this much, though: I find this deeply fitting for Lent–not only for the Holy Father but for his remaining Church Militant who must soldier on without a leader for a spell. (As the joke has already been offered up in e-radtrad land: on Feb. 28th, we will all be sedevacantists.) The past few months my spiritual life has been a pauper mess (nothing royal ’bout it). I have hastily relinquished the few responsibilities willingly undertaken at my local parish, I have stopped going to Mass, I hide from other Catholics, I am drinking a helluva lot, and I have been too frisky with the ladies. Dr. Thomas More’s confession in Walker Percy’s Love in the Ruins sums up remarkably well my current state:
I, for example, am a Roman Catholic, albeit a bad one. I believe in the Holy Catholic Apostolic and Roman Church, in God the Father, in the election of the Jews, in Jesus Christ His Son our Lord, who founded the Church on Peter his first vicar, which will last until the end of the world. Some year ago, however, I stopped eating Christ in Communion, stopped going to Mass, and have since fallen into a disorderly life. I believe in God and the whole business but I love women best, music and science next, whiskey next, God fourth, and my fellowman hardly at all. Generally I do as I please. A man, wrote John, who says he believes in God and does not keep his commandments is a liar. If John is right, then I am a liar. Nevertheless, I still believe.
Well, except for the science part, I suppose.
However, something–some deep yet undigested and troubling thing–about Benedict XVI’s resignation is now urging me to go back, to confess, to do penance, and to make this Lent one of profound closeness to Our Lord, His Mother, and His Church.
Of course, best intentions and all that…
If any of my three or four readers still has/still has the Catholic faith, I would appreciate an Ave.
Addendum: In thinking back over this entry, I see how self-centered it actually is. Yes, I definitely covet any prayers, but if anything, let’s all pray for Papa–God love him and keep him. And, God love His Church and give us a wise and holy pope to build upon Benedict XVI’s humble foundation.