Friday, April 22, 2005


One of my favourite books by 'Cardinal Ratzinger' is his volume of autobiographical memoirs 'Milestones' which covers the period 1927-77. I've been rereading it recently and find that his elevation to the papacy casts into further relief the goodness and humilty of the man so evident in the book. He treats of his life in the matter of fact manner that I have come to associate with so many people of true holiness - setback and achievement are dealt with calmly and as part of a project by which God educates the one willing to listen to Him.
I have always particularly liked Ratzinger's description of his priestly ordination.
We were more than forty candidates, who, at the solemn call on that radiant summer day, which I remember as the highpoint of my life, responded "Adsum", Here I am. We should not be superstitious; but, at the moment when the elderly archbishop laid his hands on me, a little bird - perhaps a lark - flew up from the high altar in the Cathedral and trilled a little joyful song. And I could not but see in this a reassurance from on high, as if I heard the words "This is good, you are on the right way."

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