Morning Prayer so often aligns with the headlines…

Today’s reading (slightly enlarged) from Morning Prayer, Isaiah 53:11-12

“Because of his anguish he shall see the light;
because of his knowledge he shall be content;
My servant, the just one, shall justify the many,
their iniquity he shall bear.

“Therefore I will give him his portion among the many,
and he shall divide the spoils with the mighty,
Because he surrendered himself to death,
was counted among the transgressors,
Bore the sins of many,
and interceded for the transgressors.”

Of course, folks in the Ural mountains saw a different sort of light, (and we may soon see one, too) but I know that I and others read this reading and could not but think of Benedict’s withdrawal into contemplation.

I like what Peggy Noonan says in her column today:

From a Catholic writer: “I can’t quite say I am at peace,” about Benedict’s decision, but she feels “a unity of divine purpose in what the Holy Father has set in motion.” She sees a certain amount of “suffering” ahead. She sees Benedict’s decision as “at once a model, and an urgent plea, and a warning.”

That falls in line with what I’ve been saying this week in my posts and in the comboxes (and no, she is not quoting me there) that I truly believe Benedict’s move at this time is because he senses something urgent, and that it is meant to unify us, and focus us in a very unique, at this point in time, in prayer for the Bride of Christ, not just during the conclave — although that is certainly important — but well beyond, in this [Chinese-designated] Year of the Snake. And in doing so, we cannot help but strengthen our relationship with Jesus, the Bridegroom. I know his news on Monday has affected my resolve this Lent, and very much deepened it.

Noonan’s piece is especially interesting for the tidbit about America no longer being seen as a superpower, and how that might impact the conclave, (ponder how Obama’s isolationist streak and economic/diplomatic indifference can have a powerful effect on the church) but read to the very end, and her observations about Cardinal Mahony.

In all her column is reassuring, enlightening and thoughtful, but it’s also troubling. Both Deacon Greg and Mark Shea have posted a link to Mahony’s latest blogpost and I must agree with Mark in that my sense, when reading it, is that he still thinks everything is all about him. Noonan writes:

Said the activist: “If Mahony goes to Rome it will be so wrong. And the media will make everything about him.”

They will, and understandably. It would be a shame, and another scandal for the church, if Cardinal Mahony goes, and votes. He should take a nod from the pope he praises, and remove himself.

He should also perhaps take a nod from the archbishop of his own diocese, too, and his focus.

Kathy Schiffer brings us
an excellent prayer for the conclave

Why Benedict disturbs non-believers.

The Future is God’s

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Patricia

    Spot on Elizabeth; great post. There is little doubt, considering the year of faith and other things the Pope had planned, like the world wide Eucharistic Holy Hour in early June, that something was “urgent enough” to do what he did, now!

    Everything in my soul tells me something big is coming. The only question: Will it be supernatural or catastrophic, both of which would bring most to their knees.

  • John Davies

    I’m not Catholic so maybe the answer is obvious. But does the Pope now get to vote on his successor? Isn’t he also a Cardinal?

  • Ny Mom

    John, Pope Benedict, post retirement, will not be eligible for voting in the conclave because he is past the legal voting age, which is 80. He is now 85.

  • Amanda

    John, no, he does not. He is too old ( no voting past 80) and I’m not sure if an abdicating pope could regardless of age.

  • Ann

    That he didn’t complete the anticipated 4th Encyclical on Faith makes me wonder if the decision was moved up, but everything else that I know about Joseph Ratzinger confirms that he doesn’t rush decisions. I can’t imagine that he ever saw himself making the trip to Brazil for WYD. I think he must have lived with the decision for a bit and then thought “I am not indispensable…someone else will have to finish my work in the vineyard”. Lent is the perfect time for the whole Church to take a sober prayerful journey of transition. We can all rejoice with a new (hopefully Ratzingerian) Holy Father for Easter.

  • Victor

    Anchoress, your title reminds me of the, I think, early ninetees when my wife and “I” enrolled in a “Renew Group” in our Catholic Church and long story short, let’s say that our spirit moved U>S to join and there was about 12 when we started and half way through after so many weeks, they asked me to start off the prayer and I did. After I finished, most had a big smile on their face cause I guess becau…..

    Victor! Victor! Victor! You made “IT” Way too long and by the end don’t you remember that there was only three left in the group which was you and your wife and the sister who started “IT” Renew Group to bring people back into the Catholic church NOW!

    Come on sinner vic be nice! Don’t be like that! I simply said something like this!
    Lord Jesus, please grant me the serenity to accept the things that “I” can not change! The wisdom to know the difference between right and wrong and a spec of your loving grace and…..

    Come on Victor! We don’t have time to again listen to that little retardo soul of yours NOW!

    Sorry folks! :(

    NO! You’re not NOW!

    Go Figure NOW! :)


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