Perhaps a better description would be that the Holy Father made the conscious decision to “let go” rather than “give up”. Last week, he cited his declining health and his advanced age as he announced his decision to step down as the Successor of Peter. He said he no longer feels he has the strength of body and mind to be able to lead the Catholic Church.
Letting go involves many things. It involves the surrendering of one’s control over something. It can be the recognition that I am not the only one who can handle a situation or be in a particular leadership position. Letting go may involve many areas of life including one’s health, the desire for recognition, one’s financial security or independence. Sometimes it may be seen as the difference between clinging to life itself at all costs, physically and financially, or trusting in a loving God and surrendering to the realization that each of us is mortal.
As we enter into the first full week of Lent, it is a good time to reflect on what might be the things in our own life we need to let go of. What is holding us back from truly being what Christ wishes us to be?
God bless Pope Benedict XVI as he retires and God bless the Church as we wait in confident hope for what is to be.