In a brief letter released February 8, 2022, Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI gives a further response to the report on sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Munich, Germany, including during the few years that he was archbishop there.
While the letter has various deeply piercing reflections, it also includes a brief remark about Benedict’s preparation for death. His reflection can serve in our own preparation for the day that will one day come to all of us, when we go to stand before the Creator.
The Pope Emeritus, age 94, writes:
Quite soon, I shall find myself before the final judge of my life. Even though, as I look back on my long life, I can have great reason for fear and trembling, I am nonetheless of good cheer, for I trust firmly that the Lord is not only the just judge, but also the friend and brother who himself has already suffered for my shortcomings, and is thus also my advocate, my “Paraclete.”
In light of the hour of judgement, the grace of being a Christian becomes all the more clear to me. It grants me knowledge, and indeed friendship, with the judge of my life, and thus allows me to pass confidently through the dark door of death.
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI passed to the Father’s house on December 31, 2022, at age 95.