Well the Holy Father has gone. Not quite as bad as when Bl. John Paul II died but still sad. It hit me when I saw footage of his last appearance at the window of Castel Gandolfo. He said he would now be a pilgrim on his final journey to the Lord. That hit me. This is a man preparing to die, a man who has quietly come to hold such an important place in the hearts of all true Catholics.
There is the sadness of losing such a dedicated pastor and teacher and the uncertainty of who will take his place (please God not Dolan!). He also said that he was not coming down from the cross but would remain with the Crucified Christ in another way. That's one in the eye for a certain Polish Archbishop. Now we must pray not only for the Holy Father in his retirement but more importantly for the upcoming conclave that the cardinals will elect a holy, wise, orthodox and strong pope!
So thank you Holy Father for your faith and loyalty. Thank you for your witness to Christ, for sharing your learning and exhorting us to believe, to trust and to follow Christ. Thank you for the years you have given to the priesthood and the sacrifices that involved, for taking on the demands, the cross of the Papal ministry. Thank you, Holy Father. We will miss you.