Joseph Ratzinger: Great Teacher, Good Steward

From Dan Conway’s The Good Steward, May 2012

Last month, Pope Benedict XVI celebrated two important anniversaries—his 85th birthday (April 16) and the 7th anniversary of his election to the See of St. Peter (April 19). As always, the Holy Father observed these great occasions with quiet dignity and genuine human warmth. Throughout his many years of pastoral service, Joseph Ratzinger has shown himself to be a great teacher and a good steward of the many gifts and responsibilities entrusted to his care.

Joseph Ratzinger was born on Holy Saturday and baptized the same day. As the pope recalled in his birthday homily, “On the day I was born, thanks to my parents, I was also reborn with the water of the Spirit. The day I was baptized … was Easter Saturday. At the time it was still customary to hold the Easter vigil in the morning, followed by the darkness of Easter Saturday without a Hallelujah. This singular paradox, this anticipation of light in a day of darkness, can almost be seen as an image of the history of our own times. On the one hand there is the silence of God and His absence, yet the resurrection of Christ contains an anticipation of God’s ‘yes’. We live in this anticipation, through the silence of God we hear His words, and through the darkness of His absence we glimpse His light. The anticipation of the resurrection in the midst of evolving history indicates the path we must follow and helps us to continue the journey”.

Pope Benedict’s journey through life has been a distinctive blend of gifts and responsibilities …

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