Pope Benedict XVI: The Courage of Mind

Possessing the courage of mind sufficient to acknowledge the effects of limitation the Pope demonstrates most admirably. What a remarkable opportunity to witness an Individual demonstrating the perfecting grace of humility; knowing of his mounting limitations and acting in perfect communion with them. He is demonstrating, for all of us, his understanding that preserving the march toward the Ideal is more important than his place in the process. George Washington understood this very attribute as well and every American should know of it. 

George Washington’s most lasting contributions, surprisingly to some, are not seen in the Declaration of Independence or the U.S. Constitution; they are, most conspicuously, seen in his opposition to becoming integral to it.  In 1783 at Newburgh, New York (The Newburgh Conspiracy), he could have accepted the Continental Army’s planned assault to vacate the stillborn Congress which would have, effectively, placed him placing him atop a Military Junta; he repelled the move.  

Once President he had numerous opportunities to establish a Monarchy but again he opposed the notion as contrary to “the spirit of our revolution.”  At the end of his second term, sans the institution of the 22nd Amendment which would not be ratified until 1951, and the prospects of a third easily at hand he bid his fellow citizens with a salutation and stern warnings which he delivered by way of his Farewell Address 

In our time we rarely witness Individuals of Influence affect self-less demonstrations of courage. Our Executive, Legislative and Judicial Branches are infected with many a rogue flush with their self-endowed sense of proprietary-importance evidence by their extreme tenures and deference to obsessive disorder.  

There are many lessons to be learned from the actions of the Pope and George Washington as well; the greatest, I believe, is their ability to know when it is time to leave.

“Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire, called conscience.”
– George Washington

Curtis C. Greco, Founder

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