When Pope Benedict was elected, I remember sitting on the sofa in amazed disbelief, before leaping off it and whooping loudly with delight, and we cracked open a bottle there and then in celebration.
I could not have predicted then how much the Holy Father would do personally for me. It's not exagerrating to say that he transformed how I worship. What do I mean? Well, there's Summorum Pontificum for one, the Ordinariate the other. I am now free, theoretically at least given the lamentable provision for the Latin Mass in our Diocese, to assist every Sunday at a traditional Mass. I can worship with the Ordinariate, which is orthodox and Catholic in a real sense.
When the announcement of His Holiness came I won't deny it was horrible shock. But I trust the Holy Father. I don't have to like his decision, but I trust him, and that he was called to this by God.
We were given a tremendous Pope by the Holy Spirit last time. I believe we shall be blessed with another this time. But I'll really miss our wonderful Holy Father. I pray he has many years still to be with us, and that he enjoys some peace.
Thank you, Holy Father.