Mark Shea has a nice article over at Catholic Exchange about Pope Benedict’s emphasis on fostering our relationship with Christ over simply following rules (“Benedict is About Relationship with Christ, Not Rules“).
Many people miss this aspect of B16′s pontificate, but it has been an inspiration for my writing Who Do You Say That I Am? My main goal for this book is that Catholics (and all Christians) will use it to know Jesus better and thus develop a deeper relationship with him. Often Catholics cringe when they hear Evangelicals talking about a “personal relationship with Christ,” but the fact is that they are right to emphasize it. Where they err is that they reject many of the gifts Christ has given us to foster that relationship – the Eucharist, the Blessed Mother, even periphery items like Canon Law are intended to deepen that relationship.
There is no dichotomy between Christ and the Church; in fact, the Church is our means in which we draw closer to Christ. As Mark mentions in the article, the elites of this world look at the Church as just another political entity and the rules the Church enforces are just ways to keep the faithful in line. But if you really listen to Pope Benedict’s words, you will see that his whole ministry is an effort to bring us each closer to our Lord Jesus Christ.