Loading
March 04, 2013
Benedict’s final lesson
By Brian Caulfield *

By Brian Caulfield *

When I picked up my two boys from school last Thursday, they were all abuzz with news. Rather than bellyaching about homework or teasing each other in the backseat, they wanted me to know that they saw the Pope retire on TV in their classrooms that morning.

“It was sad to see him go,” said my second-grader, Justin.

“But he looked kind of happy when he was waving to the crowd at Castel Gandolfo,” noted my seventh-grader, Stephen.

My wife and I had seen the same live footage on EWTN and I was pleased that our Catholic school took time from classes to let the students view history in the making. As we drove by the public school down the block, with the students being dismissed, I was glad for the thousandth time that we were able to make the financial sacrifice to send our boys to Catholic school. In the public school, no matter how much better the computers may be, the students were deprived not only of prayer but also of viewing and discussing this Vatican scene that was the top news story throughout the world.

“Do you know what he said to the people from the balcony?” I asked.

“Be happy!” replied Justin.

“Don’t remember me. Remember Jesus!” Stephen said.

Interesting how the different ages heard or saw slightly different messages coming from the TV screen. The younger one expressed the Pope’s simplicity, told in “happy” or “sad.” The elder brother heard more of the message and got to the heart of Benedict. His whole life and pontificate was about, “Remember Jesus!”

At dinner that evening, I furthered the conversation by telling my wife, “Our boys saw history in the making today.” She listened as our sons described in differing details the bells ringing at St. Peter’s Square, the Pope flying in a helicopter from the Vatican to Castel Gandolfo, and the things he said and did before retiring to his room at the papal villa.

“So there’s no Pope now?” Justin asked.

“The cardinals will meet now to elect a new one,” I explained.

“It will be one of them who will become Pope,” Stephen added, always anxious to show his greater knowledge before his little brother.

As though following the train of thought, Justin said suddenly, “How many Stations of the Cross do we have in our church?”

“Fourteen,” I said, figuring they had covered this topic in religion class that day.

“What’s number fourteen?” he pressed on.

“Jesus is Laid in the Tomb,” I replied.

“Shouldn’t there be one more?” he continued.

“Well, some churches have a Fifteenth Station for the Resurrection, but I think that’s more to make us remember that Christ’s life didn’t end in the tomb. He rose from the dead.”

“It’s sort of like the Pope,” Justin said, getting to his point.

We all looked, puzzled.

“Just like Jesus died and rose again, so the Pope has gone away but he is still with us,” our son said.

“That’s a beautiful way of putting it,” my wife and I agreed.

For once, not even Stephen tried to get the final word on his brother. It was Benedict’s final lesson for our family.

Brian Caulfield is editor of the website Fathers for Good, an initiative by the Knights of Columbus that features regular articles, videos and other multimedia on the subject of Christian fatherhood. A father of two young boys, Brian writes on the spiritual truths found in daily life and the issues men face while striving to live out their vocation.
« Previous entry     Back to index     Next entry »
Ads by Google
(What's this?)
blog comments powered by Disqus

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

3D Church mapping
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Jul
29

Liturgical Calendar

July 29, 2014

Saint Martha

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Jn 11:19-27

Gospel
Date
07/29/14
07/28/14
07/27/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Jer 14: 17-22
Gospel:: Jn 11: 19-27

Saint of the Day

St. Martha »

Saint
Date
07/29/14
07/27/14

Homily of the Day

Jn 11:19-27

Homily
Date
07/29/14
07/28/14
07/27/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: