Pope Benedict is a great man with a great mind, a scholar and author with great insight. Many people waited for a man like this to be pope: deeply traditional, intelligent, able to take on today’s crises in thought and praxis. His meekness as a person, joined to the clarity and depth of his writing, made for a strong shepherd for the Church.
What to say of his resignation? All I can think of are humility and trust.
A prideful man would say “I want the power, I want the prestige of being pope.” A different kind of prideful man would say “With all of the threats out there against the Church, I must cling to power, I must exert my will upon the curia and the culture at large.”
A man who did not trust would say “I must stay in office, because what if someone else comes to power who doesn’t share my views?” A man showing lack of trust would say “I must stay here as long as I can…”
A man of God, a man of Christ, a man of the Holy Spirit, a man of the Church says:”This is Christ’s Church. It is guided by the Spirit. I can give up this power, this authority, and trust that God’s will shall be done.”
Pope Benedict is not a worldly politician, not even a worldly politician for Christ. He is a shepherd guided by humility and trust.
He says “You, Lord, must guide Your Church. Your will be done.”