15 Feb OUR HOLY FATHER POPE BENEDICT XVI
It was with great sadness and shock that we received the news of the resignation of dear Holy Father. We would like to share with you the letter our Father General has sent to Pope Benedict on behalf of the whole Order. It echoes all that is in our hearts and prayers for this great spiritual Father.
P. SAVERIO CANNISTRÀ | ROME-ITALY (15-02-2013).- We feel the need to tell you this after news of your resignation from the papal ministry reached our family of Discalced Carmelites with lightening speed, from north to south, from east to west. Your words have profoundly moved us.
Among our flood of feelings, the one that stands out over all others is gratitude. Like so many millions of faithful in all parts of the world, we also, members of the Teresian Carmel, nuns, friars, and seculars, want to express our great and deep appreciation.
In these years of your service to the Church from the See of Peter, we have seen in you an open door to cross through to belief in Jesus. We can never thank you enough for this, with all the warmth and passion inherited from our Holy Mother Teresa. Our heart, which daily received your tender and profound proclamation of the Gospel, has allowed itself to be captured by your words of Father and Teacher. With joy and faith we have walked along the way to which they invited us, tasting the beauty of the faith more each day. Allow us today, Holy Father, to contemplate your life and your example in the light of the verses of Saint John of the Cross: “Now I occupy my soul and all my energy in his service; I no longer tend the herd, nor have I any other work now that my every act is love.”
In your message you told us that now your service to the Church will be expressed specially by prayer. How well we in the Teresian Carmel understand the value and greatness of this service! Allow us to accompany you in this new journey in search of the Beloved.
We want to tell you in all simplicity that we still need you, and if we can no longer enjoy your words, we are counting on your silent love, your hidden prayer, and your fraternal intercession. For us, God will transform the weakness you experience today into power capable of inspiring our efforts as Christians and religious.
It is God who traces out pathways, and certainly his ways are not our ways. Your Holiness, we wanted to have you with us always, to continue hearing your Shepherd’s voice that would reassure and encourage us to pass through the dark valleys of this life. Know that we are sorrowfully living your decision to retire, but in your words we feel the resonance of those Jesus spoke to his disciples: “If you loved me, you would indeed be glad, because I go to the Father.” We are sure that like Jesus, you also, Holiness, in retiring, communicate to us the Spirit that has accompanied you from the vernal mornings of your infancy to the evenings of these last years.
Count on our poor prayers. It is the only way we can express our thankfulness for the mission you have carried out with courage, dignity, firmness, and above all, true humility. Your testimony encourages us to offer our lives in a moment of such great need for the Church. As Saint Teresa said, “Happy the lives lost for such a purpose!”
We commend your intentions to Mary, Queen and Mother of Carmel, who always leads us to Jesus, in whose favor we want to live.