VATICAN CITY - There were moments of hilarity this morning in the encounter between the Pope and the priests of the Diocese of Rome in their traditional start-of-Lent appointment.
Benedict XVI made some offhand remarks that provoked applause or laughter from his audience, responding to some of the questions placed to him in his second Q&A session with them as Pope. He innovated this practice at their first encounter last year.
Laughter broke out when the pope cited St. Augustine, saying he was 'torn away' from his intended life of meditation and prayer to immerse himself all day in his episcopal tasks and so only had the nighttime left for prayer. But he followed that by saying:
"I must confess a personal weakness. At night, I find it difficult to pray. I just want to sleep," he said to much applause. "Nevertheless, it is really necessary to find some time for the Lord. It's easier said than done, but we must try to spiritualize our work."
You don’t know how much I needed to hear that even Pope Benedict has to struggle with just wanting to crawl into bed sometimes. Actually for me it is more the struggle to crawl out of bed. So put the coffee on! With the help of the virtue of diligence and a little caffeine we will conquer sloth!