I'd like to think so.
As I watched the masses, speeches and prayers last week, I had this comfortable feeling that I really know this guy. And then I realized where that was coming from -- he looks so much like my grandma. See?
This is my gram, circa 1973; she would have been about 70 years old.
Her German family (Breitfields and Schoenfelds) came from the same area of Bavaria as the Ratzingers. She was a strong little woman who knew the way things should be, and wasn't afraid to tell you so. When she talked, we listened, and where she led, we followed. And even when she scolded you, you knew she loved you anyway. See the similarity?
(Of course, she was confirmed in the Lutheran church; her mother, Oma, lived a block from St. Ambrose, but would cross the street so as not to walk by the Catholic church on her way to town. When my dad was little, Oma would tell him stories of how the nuns would swoop up little boys in their robes and take them home to eat for supper. Dad said Oma probably rolled over in her grave when I married Clay.)
But you know what? Grandma would have loved those red shoes.