By now, unless you live under a rock, you should know that His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, has come to America. He came last Tuesday, arriving in Washington. He was greeted at the White House on Wednesday, left for NY on Friday where he addressed the UN, had Mass at St Patrick's Cathedral yesterday, met with youth and seminarians yesterday. He visited Ground Zero and celebrated Mass at Yankee Stadium today.
I have been a fan of Joseph Ratzinger (B16) since I was a student at Cal Poly in 2001. I have read a few of his books, and liked what I read. What really made me pay attention was an interview he did with Raymond Arroyo, of EWTN, 2002 or 2003. What struck me was that here was a man of fearsome reputation and towering intellect, but on the radio, he had such a quiet and gentle voice. As I listened to what he had to say, I was struck that the man answered questions, not with a one-sentence answer, but he answered in paragraphs. He also had a wonderfully quick wit and dry sense of humor. I can get along with that!
I listened to a lot of the events on PopeTrip via Sirius satellite radio. They did a superb job. Not only did EWTN and The Catholic Channel provide wall to wall coverage, but The Catholic Channel got two more channels; a "Papal Playback" channel and a "Papal Archive" channel. The archive played parts from speeches and addresses from previous papal visits to the US. Paul VI intoning his famed "War no more, war never again" speech from the UN visit in 1965. JP2 speaking in a strong, clear voice sent shivers down my spine. The last time that I heard his voice was just before his final illness in 2005. They even dug out the oldest known voice recording of a pope: Pope Leo XIII singing the Ave Maria in 1903. The sound quality, and His Holiness' voice were not the best, but being able to hear something that old was a treat. I hope that they keep playing archived sound from the popes on the Catholic Channel in the future.
I think I will be quoting parts of B16's speeches and homilies for the next couple of months. I have the texts. Thank you Rocco! By the way, you must give Whispers a look. Rocco did an awesome job of covering this week for us all. Rocco rocks, what else can you say!!! I don't think I'll do much of that quoting now, save for this one quote from last night's youth rally at St. Joseph's Seminary in Yonkers/Dunwoodie, NY.:
Friends, again I ask you, what about today? What are you seeking? What is God whispering to you? The hope which never disappoints is Jesus Christ. The saints show us the selfless love of his way. As disciples of Christ, their extraordinary journeys unfolded within the community of hope, which is the Church. It is from within the Church that you too will find the courage and support to walk the way of the Lord. -Benedict XVI, St. Joseph's Seminary, Yonkers NY. 19 April 2008
Thank you so much for coming to be with us, Holy Father. Safe travels home, and God Bless You!