Farewell, Papa Benedetto XVI!

Most people don’t know it, but Pope Benedict XVI really really did not want to be elected pope in 2005. In fact, he wanted to be a Vatican librarian and retire!

When Pope Benedict XVI was elected, he visited the grave of St. Celestine, a pope who also was elected in the very same way — in old age, wanting to retire. In fact, St. Celestine actually even tried to run away after he was elected!

Well, back in 2005 when he was elected, Papa Benedetto visited St. Celestine’s grave the day that he received his new papal pallium (a vestment)– and left it there.

What inspires me about Pope Benedict’s resignation is that I know that he at first did not want to be pope, but that did not stop him from giving God’s call for him to fulfill the “Petrine ministry” his personal 110%! No, 125%.

Just days before he was first elected, and then “Cardinal Josef Ratzinger,” Pope Benedict XVI wrote this meditation for the Stations of the Cross at the Colosseum (days before Bl. Pope John Paul II passed away):

Lord Jesus Christ, for our sake you became like the grain of wheat that falls to the earth and dies, so that it may bear much fruit (Jn 12:24). You invited us to follow you along this path when you told us that “the one who loves his life loses it, and the one who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life” (Jn 12:25).

Yet we are attached to our life. We do not want to abandon it; we want to keep it all for ourselves. We want to hold on to it, not to give it away. But you go before us, showing us that it is only by giving away our life that we can save it.

As we walk with you on the Way of the Cross, you lead us along the way of the grain of wheat, the way of a fruitfulness which leads to eternity.

O, the Irony!

Little did Papa Benedetto know that he would be shortly become that “grain of wheat” for all the world… nourishing the Church with Christ as the POPE!

I am so inspired by Pope Benedict XVI’s humble fiat when likely everything in him was shaking “no no no!” Papa Benedetto stayed SO faithful while growing so frail (at least, in my opinion– I mean, even seeing him at WYD 2011 at the giant airfiled during that storm– I thought he’d keel over!).

Papa Benedetto ALWAYS strived to follow God’s vocation for him… to listen to His call… and was not hesitant nor afraid to cast his net out, deep into the ocean.

Pope Benedict XVI was a true “fisher of men.”

What is God calling us to do, that we don’t want to do?

For one, as we were baptized “priest prophet, and king,” we’re ALL called to be “fishers of men” one way or another.

Papa Benedetto became pope without wanting to become pope. And man did he catch some souls in that net of his. He lived out his vocation fully… He embraced his vocation– his cross– with love.

I know I could think of a whole slew of things that God probably wants me to do– but I may be frozen, hesitant, afraid. Lazy. Proud. The list goes on.

Yet I pray that I can give my fiat, and walk by faith, not by sight. That I can embrace my vocation, my cross, and all that it entails, with love.

With God’s grace, I pray to be a “fisher of men” with my 125%.

Thank you, Papa Benedetto. You have seen so many of us grow in the Faith from our teen years to our young adult years. WE LOVE YOU!


A young, dashing Pope Benedict XVI! He was our age too once, ya know! Pretty sure he had no idea he’d be pope one day. 🙂

Click here for a cool site, XT3’s, farewell to Papa Benedetto!


WE are the martyrs of the third millennium! That’s exactly what Blessed Pope John Paul II said when he greeted the young adults at the first World Youth Day in 1989. He proclaimed: “I have come to greet the martyrs of the third millennium.”

Teens and young adults, WE are called to live a “culture of LIFE,” showing the world that Jesus saves, the Gospel can come alive, and the Kingdom of God is at hand.

Instead of writing about it myself, I want to share a snippet from a blog post I found online– it’s too good to pass up!:

“Why Martyrs of the Third Millennium?
In 1989, young people from around the world gathered in Spain for the first ever World Youth Day, around 500,000 to be exact. The world watched in complete and total atonement. What had all these young people come to see? What did they plan to receive from such an event? A journalist asked Blessed Pope John Paul II what he had come to see. Like many saints before him he had a way with words and responded simply yet with great power, “I have come to greet the martyrs of the third millennium.”

We are the change we wish to see in the world. Christianity started with 12 men and it is now the largest religion on the planet. How much power lies in God? Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I can be the change the world needs, with Christ all things are possible!

This blog is going to be mostly about my journey in my faith and my life. Everyday is a learning experience and that is wisdom from God! This wisdom is something that needs to be shared. My hope is that through my sharing of my journey it may inspire those around me and those reading to take the first step on theirs! If you are already moving forward than maybe it will be encouragement to continue through the hard times.

In Christ immense Love and Compassion,
Nickolaus Burns”

I want to be a saint in the making… I want to be a martyr of the new millennium. As the prophet Isaiah said: “Here I am, LORD! Send me!”

God will decide how I will “be the change” every day that I live. “My” vocation is not set in stone… because it’s actually His vocation. And He will call me wherever He wills; the Spirit will blow me wherever He wills! (John 3:8) (“vocare” = “to call”)

Perhaps Our LORD will call me to do the same thing every day, or a different thing day by day, moment by moment. In any case, I hope always to follow Him, to help renew the face of the earth!

Step 1: Live a Eucharistic life… and, with Him as my source and my summit… my all in all… to rest in Him… to live in Him… to let Him renew me!

A picture is worth a thousand words…

World Youth Day MADRID 2011. TWO MILLION teens and young adults ALIVE in Jesus. ONE pope. Pope Benedict XVI, our PAPA BENEDETTO… we will miss him! We weathered the storm that night on a gigantic air field. I remember nearly freezing to death while I slept with millions under a bright clear moon. It was simply amazing. We are the saints in the making and the martyrs of the new millennium!


Imma Be… a SAINT

I… have the soul of an artist. Or I at least I feel like I fit the stereotypes: emotional, passionate, idealistic. Not as organized nor as timely as I’d like to be. (I hate to admit that last bit.)

Empirical proof to back my theoretical conjecture? On an official Myers Briggs personality inventory, I was assessed as an “INFP”: the personality type often referred to as the “healer” (perhaps reflecting my career choice), the “dreamer,” and yes… the “artist.”

Being the “artist” type, having very intense emotions does, in many ways, make me feel most alive. Ironically, however, being the nearly 100% correlated “dreamer” type also paradoxically hinders me from bringing my dreams INTO life.

Yes, as in that lovely Langston Hughes poem, I, too, have dreams deferred. Dreams… sitting like raisins in the hot, hot sun. Dreams… ready to explode.

But my, O my, how I wish these dreams would come to life! Why? Not for mere self gratification, but because my dreams are my Divinely-inspired duties. Because I am a unique daughter of God, and God wants me to be woman fully alive! As St. Irenaeus says: “The glory of God is man fully alive.”

The more that I meditate on these words, the more that I realize that the only way for me to be fully alive in Christ is by being His DISCIPLINED disciple! Disciplined. I never really wrapped my head around the fact that “disciple” is derived from the word “discipline.”

Disciplined. Nothing less.

Even if every bit of my “artist” personality and temperament screams “spontaneity.”

For I am not a mere artist. I am God’s paintbrush. And I do not  merely create. I let God create through me. And being a co-creator with the Master takes genuine, blood-and-sweat discipline.

But blood-and-sweat discipline is worth it. Because, through me, and much to my humility, I know that God can blow Da Vinci outta da water!

Yet why do I fail to realize it so often– that I am called to greatness? That I have been given much, and that much is being asked from me?

All too often, Satan wants me to believe that I am a nothing, a nobody, that I’ll never amount to anything but mediocre. But that’s not what God made me for. Yes, He wants us to be humble. But it doesn’t mean that He doesn’t also want us to be GREAT.

Humility and greatness in Christ are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they are bound together. For when we are weak, we are strong in Him (2 Corinthians 12:10).

Pope Benedict XVI tells us: “You were not designed for comfort. You were designed for greatness.”

More importantly, Jesus tells us: “Every one to whom much is given, of him will much be required; and of him to whom men commit much they will demand the more. I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled!” (Luke 12:48-49)

As a saint in the making, I’m called to dream BIG.

Do I merely hear the words of Jesus go into one ear, then out the other? Or do I believe the words of Jesus in my heart? Do I make His Will my very food (John 4:34)?

Like the summer hit “We Are Young” by Play, Jesus wants me to “kindle” the fire that He’s already cast upon the earth (Luke 12:49)! Jesus is calling me to set the world on fire… burning brighter… than the sun!

Yep, Play is totally just plagiarizing St. Catherine of Siena, who said: “If you are what you should be, you will set the whole world on fire!”

Well, who am I? And who should I be, so that I can set the whole world on fire? (That sounds pretty awesome. In a non pyro kinda way.)

I am God’s disciplined disciple. I am a saint in the making. And one day, in Heaven…

Imma be, Imma be, Imma Imma Imma be…  a SAINT!

There is no soul who can fill my shoes on this earth. There is no soul who can touch certain souls the way that God wants me to touch them.

It’s true for me, and it’s true for you!

As rising YouTube star SheIsCatholic says… “Be a saint!”