If you are not already reading them, I would really recommend the book series Conversations with God. These books give short (2-3 pages) reflections on the mass readings and related themes for each day of the liturgical year, with quotes from church fathers and great Catholic thinkers and lots of real life advice. As a busy mom, this is a great way to get some spiritual reading in most days even when time is very short, and since things are nicely digested I seem to get alot out of it even when I am tired. You might think of these as great homilies, and you don't have to keep your kids from squirming!
Anyway, yesterdays reflection on Good Shepherd Sunday was a timely reminder that we should be praying for and offering loyalty and love to our pope, who is the Vicar of Christ. One thing that struck me in particular is that God has given authority to the current pope, so it would be incorrect to be longing for the previous one or hoping for the next one.
I recall that Peggy Noonan, the Catholic editorialist, was very fond of John Paul II (she was not alone in this, of course), but I think she has been, in the past, too nostalgic for the personality of his pontificate. In this week's WSJ, however, Peggy does a nice job of outlining her increasing respect and affection for Pope Benedict.
Here is a quote that I love from a Ratzinger homily:
"Being an 'Adult' means having a faith which does not follow the waves of today's fashions or the latest novelties. A faith which is deeply rooted in friendship with Christ is adult and mature."
I, personally, have had a great fondness for this Pope ever since I listened to a dramatized version of parts of a very long interview which Cardinal Ratzinger gave to an agnostic journalist, I beleive one who had fallen away from the Church. I heard it on retreat and do not know the exact source, if anyone is familiar please point us to it in the comments.