I suspect the truth is far simpler. The Pope is German, and Bavarian. I have German Bavarian Catholic ancestors, and I can tell you they are a people of few words, and are often direct, frank, and precise. If he says he does not feel up to the demanding tasks of the modern Church due to his physical, mental, and spiritual frailty - then it may just be as simple as that. Let the poor man just rest. Focus on your own Lent. I'm sure it was not a decision he came to lightly.
I am confident the Holy Spirit will lead the Conclave to electing the Pope that we need for this time. And he will be ready for the challenges that lie ahead and help us to celebrate a Glorious Easter.
Our Liturgical week's ceremony preparations were subdued due to our health issues. We did manage to enjoy homemade pancakes with blueberries, bacon, syrup, and whipped cream for lunch on Shrove Tuesday. (Sweetpea refuses to eat breakfast for dinner, I was lucky to sneak this in as "Brunch" at 12:30 pm)
Imagine here a beautiful picture of our salt dough crown with nearly 50 wooden toothpicks scattered all about, placed by my four children, baked to golden perfection in my runs-too-hot oven. It was a pin-worthy effort.
You're imagining, right? Imagine the cutest one from Lacy's site over at Catholic Icing, or one of the amazing creations from Catholic Cuisine. It was really that good. Seriously.
Dum, dum, dum, dum....
Imagine the horror when an hour later I heard a crashing sound from the living room and ran in to find Riley, yes, THE Mastiff of The Mighty Mastiffs, eating the crown of thorns!!! I think I was able to get all the pieces that had toothpicks in them away from her before she could eat any of them, but she did chomp down most of the dough. I used epsom salt when I couldn't find regular salt, so I'm not sure how her stomach is going to respond to that. It's what they call a natural laxative my friends. Natural, cause that makes it sound better.
The children and I enjoyed making the crown of thorns, we did get a chance to talk about what it represents while we assembled and baked it, so at least it served its learning purpose.
I was so glad to have finally incorporated this craft into our Liturgical year celebrations and I couldn't wait to see the good deeds being done throughout the house so they could pick a thorn out of Jesus' crown of thorns. But nope, instead we got to practice our patience and forgiveness on our "good girl"- who looks so peaceful as if all that salt dough hasn't even hit her stomach yet.
I don't think we'll have the energy to make another one. But there's always next year. I so appreciate the wisdom of more experienced homeschoolers, especially Catholic homeschoolers, who make me realize that NOT every liturgical activity (or experiment or lesson plan) has to go perfectly the first time. I will probably have a chance to make another one some time in a future year. If not with my kids, then with my grandkids. And oh, what a story I will have to tell!