We have spent much time thinking of what the Holy Father gave us during his apostolic visit, but what about what we have given him. Yes, he has recieved a Seder plate, a skateboard, and a whole series of material gifts, but apparently we have given him something greater: faith.
Think you read something wrong? You didn't. On April 19th, Pope Benedict recorded an ad which is being aired on The Catholic Channel, a radio station operated by the Archdiocese of New York and broadcasted on Sirius Satellite Radio. The ad can be heard here. Click on "His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI speaks to American Catholics on The Catholic Channel".
What you hear in the finished ad was not the only version which was recorded. Vatican Radio reported on April 20th that the Holy Father deviated from the prepared script during a voice test and said, "I came to the United States to confirm my brothers and sisters in the faith, but I have to say that American Catholics are confirming me in my faith". Listen to the report here (27:16 on the audio feed).
Wow! What a thought! It is not one that surprises me, though. Pope Benedict's joy and vibrance was more obvious during this trip than at any other time. Now we know why. Not only was the Supreme Pastor feeding his sheep, but the sheep were also feeding the Pastor. Isn't that how it should be all the time.
Love your priests, care for your priests, feed your priests! Simple gestures, and sincere expressions of faith, and genuine love can go a long way in confirming our clergy in faith.