Weeks ago, as I was getting back into bed – EARLY – from returning Gemma to her crib (Yes, she still wakes up in the night. Don’t judge.), Jac said, “The Pope is resigning.”
I was sure I hadn’t heard him right. I was still asleep. Could he even do that? What was happening?!
The initial shock wore off and I started to pray. Billy called me in the afternoon just to get our take on it all and I was just silent. Whatever we were feeling or wondering or saying didn’t change any of it. God is in control of His Church. Has been for nearly 2000 years. The Barc of St. Peter has weathered storms from the moment Christ ascended into heaven and yet, “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
Amen and Amen.
And so we continue to pray. I pray that tonight at Castel Gandolfo Benedict XVI sleeps as he hasn’t slept in the last 8 years. I pray the Lord comforts him and brings him peace for his years of faithful service. I pray he can play some piano, write, have a Bavarian beer and pet a cat. I pray his new shoes are comfy.
Really, I was fine until 11:45 am today. It was then that Max asked what was happening at that precise moment. We knew he had left the papal apartments and the doors had been sealed. We learned he had met with the college of Cardinals and told them that the next pontiff was in their midst. He pledged his unfailing obedience to him and my heart burst with pride and overwhelming gratitude for the Servant of the Servants of God.
Then the sadness came. We are sede vacante – Vacant See. The Chair of St. Peter is empty, his office unfilled.
So we wait. We pray some more – for the Cardinals to heed the Holy Spirit, for the man they will elect (may he be the one God has chosen!), and for the Pope he will become. We soak up the history and relearn about a conclave and hold our breaths for what is to come.
“For you are Peter and upon this Rock I will build my Church.”