From visiting foreign countries (including the USA), to writing encyclicals, to canonizing new saints, Benedict XVI was busy during his relatively brief pontificate.
During the past 8 years, his presence as the head of the Roman Catholic Church made a direct impact on my life. In particular, his sentiments about meeting the truth through beauty have shaped my career path.
More than anything, his humility is striking.
I was at a hotel in Wisconsin when I heard the news. The Holy Father was stepping down from his role as the Pope. Someone in a TV interview that morning expressed how rare it is for anyone to willingly give up power.
This quote in the New York Times from Pope Benedict's last audience gracefully echos of real virtue.
"To love the church also means having the courage to make difficult decisions, bearing always in mind the good of the church and not of oneself."
Although he was referring to the church in this quote, I could easily insert someone else's name. For instance, "David." If I think about this in light of loving my husband, it is a compelling challenge.
"To love (David) also means having the courage to make difficult decisions, bearing always in mind the good of (David) and not of oneself."
Food for thought for this dreamer. Speaking of dreams, a couple years ago, I received a once-in-a-lifetime letter from Pope Benedict XVI.
I had recently released my CD "Living His Story." Jay Round, my producer, told me his friend Mic Carlson was traveling to the Vatican for an audience with the Pope. Jay gave Mic a copy of my CD to bring to the audience, along with a letter from me asking for an apostolic blessing.
Not long after Mic's trip to Rome, I received an official-looking letter in the mail. It was from the Vatican, expressing Pope Benedict XVI's thanks and blessings! David kindly scanned it so you can see for yourself.
Have you heard that the Pope has an iPod? Maybe my CD made it onto his playlist.
In case you use iTunes, also, I'm including a link to a free podcast I gave a few years ago about the Holy Father. In the interview, I describe how my music, ministry and marriage would not be the same without him.
Good bye, Papa Bene. Thanks for beng an image of servant leadership. God-speed and enjoy the peace and quiet.