Monday, April 21, 2008

Benedict's Travels

Having worked several hours of overtime last week, I missed most of the media coverage of Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the U.S. Fortunately, over the weekend, I found this mesmerizing link, which provides what I have irreverently dubbed "death by papal video."

It's safe to say that I'm all caught up on the pope's U.S. activities.

I like this pope, more than I thought I would when he was first elected. To quote from a recent Peggy Noonan column, John Paul II made you cry; Benedict makes you think. He's a man of superlatives--very smart, very humble, very kind. He has none of JP II's flamboyance, but every bit of the same common touch. Benedict can reach people, in his own quiet way.

It's almost eerie to consider that this man, admired leader of the world's one billion-plus Roman Catholics, was once a young boy forced into the service of the Third Reich. He is most likely the last pontiff to have experienced, firsthand, the evil that gripped the globe during World War II. Yet here he is today, alive and well at 81 years of age, inspiring young American Catholics to breathe new life into our Church and carry on its good work, as we were instructed by Our Lord.

There's an old saying, "God writes straight with crooked lines." The long, twisting road that Pope Benedict XVI has traveled to arrive at this moment in time paves a wide open highway stretching in front of us. His simple example of faith in action challenges each of us to take up our cross and follow.