Saturday, December 26, 2009

How the Faithful Responded to the Attack on the Holy Father

We are so blessed to have a Pope like Benedict XVI! Incidents like we had yesterday make you realize how blessed we are. All of us need to remember to pray for him everyday! The reaction to the attack on him seems to have missed some of the real story. To help us all understand what it was like to be there and to how the Holy Father reacted it is good to get some reaction from the faithful. The following comes from the Opinionated Catholic site:

By now, nearly every reader of the Mirror of Justice is aware that the Holy Father was knocked down by a mentally unstable woman as he proceeded up the aisle at the beginning of the Mass. The incident took place only about ten yards away from where we were sitting, although none of us were able to see what had occurred other than my daughter, Katie, who could see security gathering around and then a man being carried out of the basilica (who turned out to be Cardinal Roger Etchegaray who suffered a broken hip when knocked to the marble floor with the Pope.) I'm glad that I didn't see the security guards with their hands on their guns moving down the aisle, as that would have made me more apprehensive about what might be unfolding.

What may not have been fully conveyed by the news media is the remarkable reaction and response of the congregation as this episode unfolded, as well as the beauty and serenity of the rest of the Mass, despite the unsettling beginning. As the young woman vaulted over the rail and lunged at the Pope, those in the immediate area naturally gasped in surprise. But then complete silence fell over the entire basilica. We all remarked afterward how the reaction was so different than one usually experiences when something occurs in a crowd, typically a loud buzzing moving through the crowd as people describe what they had seen and discuss what it means and what may happen next. Instead, other than some whispering, everyone was prayerful and quiet, waiting for what seemed like a considerable time but instead proved to be only a couple of minutes. Cheers then rang out when he resumed his entrance.

When the Pope continued up the aisle, passing by our row, he did not look to be greatly shaken and returned to nodding and smiling at the worshipers gathered. The rest of the service was so beautiful and meaningful that we had nearly forgotten the interruption at the beginning by the time the Mass ended. The Holy Father recessed down the aisle, stopping to greet children in the congregation, before proceeding to the manger scene for the placement of the baby Jesus. While the eight of us will always remember that we happened to be there for the unfortunate incident, the focus of our conversation and attention afterward was on the Mass and the meaning of Christmas.

If there is a silver lining to the small cloud that overshadowed the beginning of the Mass, it may be that the news media has given more attention as well than usual to Pope Benedict's Christmas message, a call to turn away from selfishness and self-absorption and find spiritual fulfillment in God.

1 comment:

Henry said...

Bless Our God for our POPE.

A Servant of Jesus and Mary