Last week Pope Benedict XVI announced his plans to resign due to failing strength—and during this morning’s daily readings I cannot help but reflect on his years of fruitful service.
Isaiah 55:10-11 says: “For, as the rain and the snow come down from the sky and do not return before having watered the earth, fertilizing it and making it germinate to provide seed for the sower and food to eat, so it is with the word that goes from my mouth: it will not return to me unfulfilled or before having carried out my good pleasure and having achieved what it was sent to do.”
We here at Cross Catholic Outreach are thankful for the seeds that Pope Benedict has helped plant, water and fertilize on behalf of the destitute around the world. Among his many accomplishments, the Holy Father emphasized the relationship between faith and charity, asserting that faith is genuine only if coupled with charity for others. Charity, he says, is at the heart of the Church’s identity and mission.
As a lay ministry dedicated to charity to help the poorest of the poor worldwide, Cross Catholic is especially grateful for the Holy Father’s communications about charity as it relates to faith. Last month our president, James J. Cavnar, was able to thank Pope Benedict personally for his guidance and teachings about charity when he met with the Holy Father in Rome as part of mutual visits between the Vatican and Cross Catholic to discuss charitable collaborations.
As we continue to pray for the health and well-being of Pope Benedict, may we also remember his call to consider the poor and live out our faith through charity. For when we do so, the Lord allows us to be an instrument of his great blessing and provision to those in desperate need.
As today’s responsorial psalm promises: “I seek Yahweh and he answers me, frees me from all my fears…the angel of Yahweh encamps around those who fear him, and rescues them…Though hardships without number beset the upright, Yahweh brings rescue from them all.” (34:4,7,19).