Featured now in our Looking Back web exclusive, Robert P. Imbelli, whose piece "Shepherding the Church" appeared in the May 6, 2005, issue of Commonweal. Following is an excerpt from his reflection on Benedicts papacy:
[Eight years ago] I expressed the hope for a new appropriation of mystical knowledge of Christ. Pope Benedict has more than fulfilled this hope. The oft-cited statement in his first encyclical, Deus Caritas Est Christianity is not a set of ideas or a moral code, but a living encounter with the living person of Jesus Christ has been the cantus firmus of his magisterium. He has developed this theme in creative variations from his magnificent volumes on Jesus of Nazareth to his mystagogical homilies and catecheses.These are a heritage we will continue to harvest for years to come.