No doubt many of you are like me and still reeling from yesterday's events. It was a most extraordinary day - to see a Pope abdicate; the farewell in the Vatican, the helicopter trip to Castel Gandolfo - then the last words, the last blessing, the last sight of he who was our Holy Father. It was all very emotional.
And yet, as the clock ticked and 7pm (Irish time, 8pm Roman) came and went, I could not but help think of Benedict, now Pope-Emeritus, having his dinner and looking forward to his bed. Relieved of the burden of the Church, a contented sleep (I hope) and then this morning waking up to a quiet day of prayer, rest and some reading; a new life which many others embraced in their middle sixties as they retired after a lifetime of work. I cannot help but feel happy for him and I hope he will have many days of this quiet life.
In his final words to us he described himself as a pilgrim walking the last days of his journey, and he is. As I said a day or so ago, he is also entering a period of intercession for the Church. But I hope the Lord grants him rest and peace, time for reading, for his piano and his cats, and I hope also for his friends.
So how did he start his day today? I hope he got a lie in and perhaps a nice cup of coffee to sip while he recited his Office in bed! Not quite liturgical I know, but after eight years of a difficult Pontificate I think he'll get away with it today.