The boys had some questions for me about Pope Benedict’s resignation. And as much as it was an easy comedy target (especially since I am not a Catholic) but instead- I wanted them to see what an incredibly cool thing it all was.
Not being a Catholic (in fact I had to look up the actual name of the Pope before I wrote this) I do not ‘get’ the whole adoration of the Pope thing- other than from a historical mass following standpoint. So much to my surprise these past weeks I have learned a lot from Pope B.
Here is a man, who in his line of work, is literally at the TOP. There is no place to go UP.
(With the exception of well, the actual ‘UP’ as in die and go to heaven.)
He made it.
He did it.
He achieved what has to be the ultimate goal of priests and cardinals and alter boys all over the world-
He became THE MAN.
And then one day he woke up from his Pope bed. Let his Pope feet hit the ground, drank some Pope espresso (extra foam ‘hat’ I am guessing) and he decided to give it all up.
HE DECIDED TO QUIT.
Reasons are still a little unclear. He is old and seems frail. (Not sure why the Catholic church thinks only mega old dudes are close to God- but he was no spring chicken when he got the job.) So sure, maybe it is his health. Then there is the stress and all that must come from being a spiritual leader for like half the world’s* population.
But his reasons don’t matter to me –what does matter– and what I think we can learn is that sometimes quitting can be very right.
It is important to accept yourself for who you are in this moment. To know what you are capable of handling. Not what you WANT to be capable of. Not what OTHERS want you to be capable of…but what you know in your heart to be true.
In essence, Pope B has taught us all that there is no shame in accepting our own short comings in capabilities whether those be physical, emotional or yes, spiritual. He made it totally okay to be HONEST and raise your hand and say ‘I’m out’ when things become more challenging than you can handle. He showed us – that he values his own PERSONAL well-being as well as his commitment to his position. He taught us, that just because you can stay- doesn’t mean you should– if you know you aren’t giving it all you have to give.
I imagine him waking so relieved today. Thinking that now he can grow old in comfort (there is some kinda Pope-pension I imagine) just reading, drinking holy wine, travelling and enjoying all the things he loves. He will go to his grave knowing that not only did he achieve ridiculous success in his ‘career’ but he also was man enough to walk away when he realized he wasn’t ‘all-in’.
I also imagine him taking that crazy Pope hat off, setting it on his Pope dresser and saying ‘thank GOD I don’t have to wear THAT anymore!’.
Rock on Pope B.