Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Pope of Continuity

Pope Benedict's new book, Light of the World garnered much initial attention for all the wrong reasons: a Vatican press disaster. It should be known for its unique insight into a sitting Pope, his thoughts, concerns, and worries. Online on First Things today is a great article the man revealed to be Pope Benedict. Here is an excerpt:
In fact, when he moved into the papal apartment, some Vatican officials were a bit taken aback when he brought along some beat up used furniture—his desk and the bookshelves that he has had since his days as a young faculty member. And of course his books, “my advisors” as he calls them. These familiar reminders of his beloved years as a professor are clearly dear to Benedict...“It is like this,” he says, “When a man says Yes during his priestly ordination, he may have some idea of what his own charism could be, but he also knows: I have placed myself into the hands of the bishops and ultimately of the Lord.” Professor, yes, but priest first. He can take along his old furniture. Popes, after all, have prerogatives. But, as Benedict points out, the continuity of his priestly vocation has always meant something both simple and fundamental: I cannot pick and choose what I want.
We see here Pope Benedict's view that he is first and foremost a follower of Christ. Though the press may call him the most powerful Catholic in the world, he doesn't see it that way. Christ must increase, I must decrease. Need to round out that gift list for Grandma? Light of the World?

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