When a father hands over the keys of the car to his son, he does so with the hope that all will be well with the new driver. The father prays that the son will not drive too fast, that he will obey the laws, and that he will come home safely and, ideally, with the car intact.
Having arisen this morning to the news that our blessed father, Pope Benedict XVI, has announced that he will retire on the last day of February 2013, I am filled with a certain sense of alarm. Who will take over the keys of St. Peter?
Any Christian, especially a Catholic Christian, can sense that the rules of the road are changing, that the flow of traffic is already too fast, that an accident is in the making, that there are likely to be bumps, dings, a missing fender perhaps. We Christians must pray, and pray solemnly, that whosoever is handed the keys of St. Peter, will guide Holy Mother Church home safely.
This Lent, make it your priority to offer your Lenten sacrifices up for Pope Benedict XVI, for a holy successor, and for goodly priests and women religious who now serve Holy Mother church.
Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host -
by the Divine Power of God -
cast into hell, satan and all the evil spirits,
who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.