JPII was grand. Benedict is homey.

I loved Pope John Paul the Great and honor his memory, but I must say, I am really enjoying getting to know Benedict XVI.

John Paul was the deep and mystical philosopher, whose writings are so dense my limited intellect gets bogged down. Benedict, on the other hand, whether writing or talking, is plainspeaking, clear and direct and not at all pedantic.

“One of the dangers we face as human beings is that our memory of the evil we have suffered is often stronger than our memory of goodness,” he said. “The psalm helps reawaken in us the memory of goodness, of the great good God has done and continues to do for us, which we can see if our heart is attentive to it.”

Pope Benedict said the psalm “wants to reawaken in us an awareness of the good so that we can finally know the truth of what the psalm says with joy, ‘The mercy of the Lord endures forever and is present each day.’”

At the end of the audience, the pope offered special greetings to members of the Italian pro-life movement, which was sponsoring a national meeting of centers that help pregnant women facing emotional or financial difficulties.

The pope thanked the movement for its “courageous activity” in defending the right to life of every human from the moment of conception.

“Working to prevent voluntary abortions with attentive acts of support for women and families, you are collaborating in writing pages of hope for the future of humanity, proclaiming in a concrete way the Gospel of life,” he said.

Funny – all of the know-it-alls knew it all in April, when they declared that this “cold, stand-offish, dictatorial” pope would be the “chill wind” after JPII. Instead, he is warm, pastoral, approachable, quite paternal, and as easy to glean as a dear old uncle sharing fellowship over a cup of tea.

John Paul was a mighty pipe organ, dramatic, transcendent, soul-rattling – almost overwhelming. He brought you to your knees, before God in hushed awe. Benedict is a piano being played by a musician who plays for love of the music, and he draws you into his sphere, to sing along in praise.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • http://sigcarlfred.blogspot.com/ Sigmund, Carl and Alfred

    John Paul II as the hero, Pope Benedict as ‘everyman.

    That resonates. The Catholic Church is well served.

  • http://sigcarlfred.blogspot.com/ Sigmund, Carl and Alfred

    John Paul II as the hero, Pope Benedict as ‘everyman.

    That resonates. The Catholic Church is well served.

  • http://closedcafeteria.blogspot.com GeraldBoSox

    I’d say Pope Benedict is easily as much an intellectual heavyweight. The difference is that he lacks the flair for the dramatic (as in acting), which isn’t a bad thing. Ad multos annos :)

  • http://closedcafeteria.blogspot.com GeraldBoSox

    I’d say Pope Benedict is easily as much an intellectual heavyweight. The difference is that he lacks the flair for the dramatic (as in acting), which isn’t a bad thing. Ad multos annos :)

  • TheAnchoress

    I wasn’t implying anything about Benedict’s intellect. He’s simply more accessible.

  • TheAnchoress

    I wasn’t implying anything about Benedict’s intellect. He’s simply more accessible.

  • Ellen

    When I saw the pictures of Pope Benedict on World Youth Day, I was struck by his humble and kind presence. The young people who got to meet him must have sensed his kindness as well – they held his hand and their faces glowed.

  • Ellen

    When I saw the pictures of Pope Benedict on World Youth Day, I was struck by his humble and kind presence. The young people who got to meet him must have sensed his kindness as well – they held his hand and their faces glowed.

  • Pingback: Pontifications » Blog Archive » The Difference Between the Popes

  • Pingback: Pontifications » Blog Archive » The Difference Between the Popes

  • fzavis

    At age 62, I am Hungarian Sicilian. My wife Dolores’s parents were slaves of the Nazis in Poland.

    Growing up in Buffalo NY surrounded by Hungarians, including the Freedom Fighters of 1956, I learned at a very early age what Communism was all about, and was NOT impressed by Stalinist College Profs who “didn’t think Communism was so bad”.

    I was also very aware of Pope John Paul’s larger than live opposition to Communism, living in a largely Polish city.

    But I believe my “ethnic pride” hit a peak early this month when I learned of “Secret Prisons” for Terrorists in Eastern Europe, allegedly Poland and elsewhere.

    I would be disappointed if there were NOT also prisons in Hungary.

    Poles and Hungarians really know what terrorism and White slavery is like, in contrast to many of our intellectual elite.

    I can’t think of a better use for abandoned Soviet prisons.

    Following the fall of the Soviet Union, many supported destruction of Soviet structures. Wisely, many were privatized and are now used. No doubt some prisons were left intact for a rainy day. The rainy day has arrived.

    I believe Pope John Paul would be proud of the present use of these abandoned Soviet prisons.

    In fact, many have mis qouted the Po;e on the War in Iraq – he was not against a “just war”.

  • fzavis

    At age 62, I am Hungarian Sicilian. My wife Dolores’s parents were slaves of the Nazis in Poland.

    Growing up in Buffalo NY surrounded by Hungarians, including the Freedom Fighters of 1956, I learned at a very early age what Communism was all about, and was NOT impressed by Stalinist College Profs who “didn’t think Communism was so bad”.

    I was also very aware of Pope John Paul’s larger than live opposition to Communism, living in a largely Polish city.

    But I believe my “ethnic pride” hit a peak early this month when I learned of “Secret Prisons” for Terrorists in Eastern Europe, allegedly Poland and elsewhere.

    I would be disappointed if there were NOT also prisons in Hungary.

    Poles and Hungarians really know what terrorism and White slavery is like, in contrast to many of our intellectual elite.

    I can’t think of a better use for abandoned Soviet prisons.

    Following the fall of the Soviet Union, many supported destruction of Soviet structures. Wisely, many were privatized and are now used. No doubt some prisons were left intact for a rainy day. The rainy day has arrived.

    I believe Pope John Paul would be proud of the present use of these abandoned Soviet prisons.

    In fact, many have mis qouted the Po;e on the War in Iraq – he was not against a “just war”.

  • Pingback: The Anchoress » Blog Archive » Looking beyond the obvious

  • Pingback: The Anchoress » Blog Archive » Looking beyond the obvious


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