Who is the Holy Father?
Before today, as a Catholic, I thought the answer was more-or-else straight-forward: the head of the Church and Christ's victor on earth. Today I learned the answer was far, far more simple.
It was about 5:20 when I had the opportunity to see the Pope pass by in his custom-built Popemobile. He came by slowly. Inside the car's glass bubble, this humble priest smiled and waved to the crowd, and since he drove slowly, he took the time to look at us each individually. His glance was full of life and his spirit radiated a glowing and unmistakable message: peace.
Today the Holy Father became for me a messenger of peace. So often political leaders and others talk of peace, but this man lives it. And it shines forth in his life. His predecessor John Paul II was a rock-star, and his example of faith drew an enthusiasm for Christ, especially for we the young. Benedict's personal presence makes a invitation quiet invitation: to think, to reflect, and to attempt to live peace. His message has been so simple since the beginning of his Papacy, and his them for this trip, Christ is Our Hope. Nothing could possibly be more attractive
Given this man's wisdom, even more exciting than seeing him is listening to his words. And his message to the Bishops inside the Basilica was quite simple: pray, pray, and pray. And he preached by example tonight, leading the Bishops in the traditional prayer of psalms and hymns that all priests and many lay Catholics say daily. That Christ's messenger of peace would lead through the example of his life of prayer with all of us speaks volumes to me. It is a silent invitation that I know he invites each of us to share in our lives and with each other.
That's who is the Holy Father: A man of prayer. A Man of Peace.