Days earlier than Pope Benedict XVI’s current dying, social-media influencers pre-empted nature and commenced pontificating on his life and legacy.
Then, on Dec. 31—the final day of the yr of 2022 of our Lord—the previous vicar of Christ made method for these public epitaphs, uttering his last audible phrases, “Lord, I really like you,” not lengthy earlier than his spirit departed his physique for everlasting life.
The criticism commencing nearly instantly from some corners wasn’t shocking. It’s grow to be predictable for Catholicism to function a punching bag for these viewing faith in a foul mild. For individuals who’ve been damage in a roundabout way by the Church, it’s considerably comprehensible.
However in our cancel tradition, it appears we’ve gotten too fast to attract hearth, and, in our disappointment and generally misdirected anger, we are able to miss out on the richness of the religion meant to be a salve on our hearts. In spite of everything, Christ got here to heal and produce peace to the entire world, and asks the identical of his followers. We can’t obtain with a closed fist, nonetheless.
I’d wish to problem these essential of Pope Benedict XVI to contemplate that perhaps this previous codger from Germany had, and nonetheless has, one thing good to supply us.
Take into account the primary pastoral letter regarding doctrine, often known as an encyclical, he wrote as pope. “Deus Caritas Est,” that means, “God is love,” attracts on 1 John 4:16: “God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.”
John’s phrases, he wrote, “categorical with exceptional readability the center of the Christian religion: the Christian picture of God and the ensuing picture of mankind and its future.”
“We’ve come to consider in God’s love,” he continued, and, in saying these phrases, the Christian can categorical the elemental choice of his life. “Being Christian just isn’t the results of an moral selection or a lofty thought, however the encounter with an occasion, an individual, which provides life a brand new horizon and a decisive route.”
Quoting John 3:16, he then famous, “God so liked the world that he gave his solely Son, that whoever believes in him…ought to have everlasting life.” The crux of Christianity in a nutshell.
Benedict continued, “Since God has first liked us, love is now not a mere ‘command;’ it’s the response to the present of affection with which God attracts close to to us.”
This message is each well timed and vital, he wrote, which is why he selected it for his first encyclical, “to talk of the love which God lavishes upon us, and which we in flip should share with others.”
Regardless of criticism, with some even calling Pope Benedict “God’s Rottweiler,” I consider he’s been unfairly misrepresented. One of the best ways to know this good man is to learn what he has so generously shared; to not cancel him, however think about that perhaps, simply perhaps, there’s one thing good and delightful in who he was, and the hope he wished to supply, not just a few however all.
Salonen, a spouse and mom of 5, works as a contract author and speaker in Fargo. E mail her at email@example.com, and discover extra of her work at Peace Backyard Passage,
This column doesn’t essentially replicate the opinion of The Discussion board’s editorial board nor Discussion board possession.