Upon reading that Pope Benedict's final Mass as Pope would be today, Ash Wednesday, I once again felt a surge of sorrow. He will always be Papa Benny but soon he will start a more cloistered part of his life. I think what I'm feeling is how I would feel if someone I loved left for the cloister. They would still be that person to me but in a different way. I would't be able to see them as much and that would and does hurt. We love someone and always want them with us.
Reflecting on the above photo reminds me that while Pope Benedict is pope, he is only a steward, someone who cares for the king's household in lieu of the king. Christ is still king. After many years of doing his duty of God and to man I think Christ has allowed our dear papa to rest with Him alone, to gaze on Him alone---to sit at the feet of the Master and learn from Him alone. The great professor will be alone with the greatest Teacher, and in doing so will do his greatest work.
There is one greater and that is Jesus who always remains. Let us sit as His feet too and in doing so we may sit beside our beloved brother and papa.
EWTN will show the Mass at 10 a.m. central time and again at 5 p.m. central standard time. Check the listings.