It is now the end of Ash Wednesday, I have led or assisted in 2 Masses and 3 Ash Services; I am tired. But in the middle of all this I watched the Ash Wednesday service form St. Peter’s Basilica, the Holy Father’s final public Mass. I sat and watched as the man who formed me as a new catholic, whose books and writings taught me the faith, celebrated his last Mass at St Peter’s main altar as Pope. I am physically and emotionally drained. This will be an intense and precious Lent as I turn to the Lord, more than ever, for strength, guidance, wisdom – Love. Push to the side all the academic, theological discourse – all the journals and papers – as important as they are right now I need someone to accompany me and encourage me. This doesn’t surprise me; for if I have learned anything from Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict that what I need is the foundation of the faith, this personal relationship with Christ. I can’t turn to a lofty idea for this succor, I need a friend, a brother, a father – I need God. Now, late in the evening, I can’t get out of my mind the final lines of today’s second reading:
“Behold, now is a very acceptable time;
behold, now is the day of salvation.”
Come Lord Jesus, I need you! The least of your ambassadors, this great sinner, desires to be yours more than ever.