The election of Cardinal Ratzinger to the papacy has truly been a cause for joy for me this week. And yet...
I went to the Vatican website tonight, to see what updates are present. They have some pictures of Benedict nicely laid out on the index page. I then went to the "Holy Father" webpage to see if he'd been added yet; he had not -- still at the top of the list was John Paul II. I clicked on him, and browsed his speeches, audiences, appearances, etc. from 2005, and I have to say... I miss him!!! I do rejoice in Benedict's election, as I've already noted and as my previous posts this week make clear.
But I still miss JPII. Deeply.
The final official text we have from this Magnus pope is the Regina Caeli for Divine Mercy Sunday, which he penned and which was read at the end of that Mass:
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
1. Today the glorious Alleluia of Easter resounds. Today's Gospel from John emphasizes that on the evening of that day he appeared to the Apostles and "showed them his hands and his side" (Jn 20: 20), that is, the signs of the painful passion with which his Body was indelibly stamped, even after the Resurrection. Those glorious wounds, which he allowed doubting Thomas to touch eight days later, reveal the mercy of God who "so loved the world that he gave his only Son" (Jn 3: 16).
This mystery of love is at the heart of the liturgy today, the Second Sunday of Easter, dedicated to the devotion of Divine Mercy.
2. As a gift to humanity, which sometimes seems bewildered and overwhelmed by the power of evil, selfishness and fear, the Risen Lord offers his love that pardons, reconciles and reopens hearts to love. It is a love that converts hearts and gives peace. How much the world needs to understand and accept Divine Mercy!
Lord, who reveal the Father's love by your death and Resurrection, we believe in you and confidently repeat to you today: Jesus, I trust in you, have mercy upon us and upon the whole world.
3. The liturgical solemnity of the Annunciation that we will be celebrating tomorrow urges us to contemplate with Mary's eyes the immense mystery of this merciful love that flows from the Heart of Christ. With her help, we will be able to understand the true meaning of Easter joy that is based on this certainty: the One whom the Virgin bore in her womb, who suffered and died for us, is truly risen. Alleluia!