"Cuddly Benedict," writes The Anchoress -- referring to our own comparison of the Holy Father to that limited edition Hermann Spielweren Pope Benedict XVI teddy bear the other day -- "Whenever I see the man I want to make him a cup of hot tea and ask him what he's been reading, lately." If Papa Ratzi isn't available, she could always cuddle up to one of our Pope Benedict XVI mugs, now on sale at our Cafe Press Shop. Oriana Fallaci's provocative "If an atheist and a pope think the same things, there must be something true" (left) $11.99 and that Speilweren teddy bear (right) $10.99 plus delivery. (Photoshopped images of plain white Design & People mugs)
"The tragedy of our time, your friend's confession that she "believed the media at first," we wrote in The Anchoress's comments, referring to her story of a woman who finally realized what she was missing:
My friend mentioned that she’d only recently come to liking Benedict. “I believed the media at first,” she said, “I thought he’d be a disaster. But I’ve been reading his Jesus of Nazareth, and I love him; he’s so down-to-earth.”
"If only more of our fellow Americans would trust their eyes instead of 'journalists' with anti-Western [not to mention anti-Judeo-Christian] agendas," we continued, "they would, like your friend, see the light." Having been on the MSMs case since our snail-blogging days of yore, we were favorably biased towards Cardinal Ratzinger from the start, of course. As we wrote on April 22, 2005, just three days after his election to the papacy:
He loves cats, he plays Mozart on the piano before he goes to bed at night and the dictatorial relativist Left is apoplectic. Halleluijah!
"Sissy, that Bavarian Bear -- it’s too adorable for words. I want it," The Anchoress writes in her own comments re the Steiff teddy (above) from our previous post.
[Benedict] is warm, pastoral, approachable, quite paternal, and as easy to glean as a dear old uncle sharing fellowship over a cup of tea.
John Paul was a mighty pipe organ, dramatic, transcendent, soul-rattling -- almost overwhelming. He brought you to your knees, before God in hushed awe. Benedict is a piano being played by a musician who plays for love of the music, and he draws you into his sphere, to sing along in praise.
Speaking of playing the piano, we were quite taken with the story of Italian-American pianist-composer Pierluigi Sampietro, who played Mozart and Bach for Pope Benedict XVI in Rome last year. "When you meet the pope, you cry," he told a LoHud reporter:
He is so simple, the most humble priest I have met in my entire life. When he takes your hand, he puts it in his two hands. As Catholics, we know that he is the living representative of Christ on Earth. Can you imagine then sitting next to him? When I went to the piano, I was filled with so much emotion that my hands started to tremble. I never got that trembling before. For the first piece, I knew it was not me playing. People don't understand this. It's ecstasy, that's all . . .
"His music is by no means just entertainment," the pope once said of Mozart. "It contains the whole tragedy of human existence." In Benedict XVI, then, Sampietro has a musical soulmate.
"Mozart is the angel of music"[says Sampietro]. His music brings you to the innermost part of the soul."
A final note from our comments at The Anchoress:
The contrast between Papa Ratzi as a "dear old uncle sharing fellowship over a cup of tea" vs Barack Obama's lame protestations that HIS minister, the venomous Rev. Jeremiah Wright, is "like an old uncle who says things I don't always agree with" speaks volumes.
Obama's snake oil of "hope and change" is thin gruel beside the deep, dark and delicious soul food of Pope Benedict's "Christ our hope."