Not here to Estes, of course. That was a different pope.
Benedict will be arriving in Washington, DC this afternoon. He'll celebrate his 81st birthday tomorrow (he sure doesn't seem that old to me). He'll be meeting with the president, addressing the UN and praying Mass, among other important things.
You'll hear the same tired drivel from the lazy media: Benedict is out of touch, he's a hardliner, he's not as likeable as his predecessor...blah, blah, blah.
The only people with whom the Pope is out of touch are those to whom Catholicism doesn't matter. To those of us--particularly those of use who are young--to whom Christ's Church is the very basis of our lives, Benedict is our great spiritual father and hero. The Holy Spirit has sent us another extraordinary man in the footsteps of Peter; an intellectual giant, yet a gentle, humble servant in the Lord's vineyard. But how could most people know this? They're constantly told the opposite by the media.
George Wiegel, JPII's biographer, has a great Newsweek piece on Benedict's importance to the Church and the world; it's a far more Catholic view, in the sense that it attempts to see the entire picture. And Peggy Noonan has a bit more sentimental opinion.
I also suggest that you watch Benedict's trip for yourself. Tim Drake's blog pope2008.com is a good place to start, and check out EWTN for wall-to-wall coverage of every public appearance. And a podcast I regularly listen to, catholic underground, is doing live video from DC.
This is gonna be great.