"A Revolutionary of the Christian Type" | Peter Seewald | The Preface to Benedict XVI: An Intimate Portrait
What is it like to sit opposite a man like Joseph Ratzinger for many hours, alone in a monastery, and discuss things with him, asking a thousand questions?
We were high up in our monastery, often in reality above the clouds, and there was always something that gave you the feeling there was a good spirit there. At any rate, I came to know Joseph Ratzinger as a great man for patience, as a spiritual master who can give answers. Here was someone who simply understood people, who had retained the liveliness of youth. Someone who did not burn out quickly but in some way remained whole--and most impressive in his attitude of humility, with which he makes small things seem great.
Joseph Ratzinger is a born teacher, but he did not want to become pope. Even after the conclave, on the loggia of Saint Peter's, his face showed the traces of an inner struggle. And he probably felt like crying, so disturbingly moved was he by the condescension of the great God who entrusted him, at the end of his path, with the keys of the kingdom of heaven.
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