Saturday, April 19, 2008

The human Benedict

(Image courtesy Whispers)

I've absolutely loved those little moments of spontaneity, and the gaffes, where the completely unassuming character of our Holy Father shines through.

I'm sure a lot has been said about his deeply heartfelt thanks, spoken impromptu, at the end of the Mass at St. Patrick's (See this wonderful reflection by Fr. James Martin SJ at the NYT Pope Blog). [And I must disagree with those who tut-tut at applause and emotion at times like this during the Mass. I am not at all for turning Mass into theater ... but come on ... we are human! As the Holy Father processed down the altar at the end of Mass, beaming, shaking hands, and as everyone applauded, the emotion, the joy was so palpable, even watching it hundreds of miles away on a computer. Christian worship isn't about stoicism. It's about building up and lifting up the whole man. At times like this, what the heck is wrong with applause? Are we to be robots during the Mass. Classical alabaster statues made of stone?]

The moment after he finished his (amazing!) address at the rally at Yonkers, when he forgot about his Spanish address. He laughed! Everyone laughed! It was beautiful!

And he walked to the very edge of the platform after it was over, reaching out, touching a few hands (and causing coronaries with the Secret Service agents, no doubt).

Even that delightful "air-piano" wave of his that has been remarked on ...

And he looks so joyful, so happy, so energized!

Aloof? Distant? Academic? Unable to connect? Too abstract? Who the heck are they talking about?

God Bless this very human and eminently lovable Supreme Pontiff!

As to the address: oh sweet lord. I hope someone is going to put all the texts from his addresses into a book. I'd rather pay for a nice bound volume which will endure, than for the printer-ink to make printouts.

Also check out Collen Caroll's piecea the NYT blog: Benedict and the Young

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