I have to say, I am sad about it. Not because I am worried for him. I know that he will pass on and spend eternity with Christ. But, I am sad because change is hard, and he was Pope when I became Catholic.
Pope John Paul II's death was part of what brought me to the Church. I always admired him. His spunk, his compassion, his intelligence. Even though I was not Catholic yet, I watched the news coverage of his passing and then the council to elect Pope Benedict every second I could. Seeing the Vatican on TV so much moved me. Seeing the thousands of people there crying for their beloved shepherd. It was truly beautiful.
I was skeptical of Pope Benedict at first. I was unsure why they chose such an older man to begin with. I knew that we would end up with a new Pope pretty quickly. But, the more I learned about him and saw him in action, the more I loved him. This "older man" was the perfect father figure for our modern day Church. The authority we needed to ground us in such crazy times. A wonderful breath of fresh air speaking for the traditional beliefs that I hold dear. He did amazing things in his time as Pope. And I am grateful.
God bless you, Papa Bene. We love you so dearly. And we cry only the way a person cries for any loss, because we admire you and your accomplishments, and this world is a better place with you in it.
This will be quite the Lent.