I cannot hear the music or the words in Latin without thinking back to my many years as a Roman Catholic - I was an altar boy in elementary school, a lay leader as an adolescent and I helped in the mass as a reader during high school.
Many years ago.
Yet, the sound of the Latin rings through my memory just as crisp and clear as when I wore the cassock, knelt at the altar and followed up "Dominus vobiscum" with "Et cum spiritu tuo" or rang the bells, saying, "mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa".
These were among the memories of that portion of my spiritual journey. I am glad for the traditional Christian orthodoxy that was given to me during those years.
We each have such a spiritual journey, don't we? Not always Christian, though many of us have roots in evangelical, fundamentalist or Catholic denominations.
Each link with the past provides a future as well as a memory of the past, if we'll let them.
And today Pope Benedict has his own last memories.
May God bless today's Pope Benedict as he returns tomorrow to his life as Joseph Ratzinger.