As The Year of Our Lord 2013 and Advent wind down to an end, and we enter into a period of retrospection, as editor of uCatholic, I have decided to name our site’s “Person of the Year”.
Much consideration has went into this decision as we this year has given us many very worthy candidates. Being a past winner of Time Magazine’s “Person Of The Year” (2006), I feel I have at enough personal insight and the gravitas to bestow such an honor.
When considering the candidates, I weighed not only their impact on this year in particular, but also how I foresee that impact rippling into the future. I considered their actions and demeanor. I considered their impact on a global scale. I looked at how their impact trickled down into micro-communities. I looked for somebody who’s actions were inspiring, deliberate, and beneficial to all people, now and into the future.
After much thought, we arrived at our winner. A Pope who wrote on the need of Love and Charity. Who wrote about Hope and gentle trust in Our Lord. We have chosen the Pope who in his actions have shown a humility and honesty that I have never before seen. The depth of humility that this holy man has shown in his action is nearly unfathomable to most people, and will only reveal itself, be fully understood, and appreciated with time. The uCatholic 2013 Person of the Year is the Pope, who through his actions, has given an absolutely remarkable example of Christian humility.
We have chosen as our “Person of the Year” Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
While it would be easy to give this award to and say those exact words about Our Holy Father Francis, there will be, God willing, many years to appreciate and recognize him as we move forward in his Pontificate. But the resignation from the Seat of Peter, the abdication of the Papal Throne, the willingness to truly be the Vicar of Christ and take the lowest seat is nearly beyond comprehension. I personally have never seen one act that so embodied full trust in Christ’s promise to be with the Church until the end of time. I have never seen an act so beautifully trusting that Holy Spirit guides the Church in our day. I have never seen somebody so willing to humble himself from a position of enormous power and follow The Father’s will for him.
While the world joyfully embraces Pope Francis, and his beautiful pastoral, loving, and familiar style, that has swept into the Catholic world like a warm spring breeze, it could be easy to miss the lesson of Pope Emeritus Benedict. It is the denouement to a life so dedicated and efficacious to building the Kingdom. A priesthood of Christ that spanned decades and monumental times. A professor and absolute giant of Theology (Doctor of the Church material if you ask me) who perhaps taught his greatest lesson not in a classroom or lecture hall, not from the height of St. Peter’s but from a small, quiet, monastery “Mater Ecclesiae” in a quiet reflective prayer.
When the time comes, and may it be in many years, when Pope Emeritus Benedict goes to his eternal reward, my he who so humbly chose a lower seat, be exalted and called to higher seat prepared by the Lord.
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI is the uCatholic “Person of the Year”. Ad Multos Annos.