It struck me as I followed the Pope's Mass televised from Birmingham yesterday morning that in spite of the Catholic Church's failings, and the failings of some of its members, that the papal visit to Scotland and England has been a time of spirit renewal for people who try to follow the teachings of Christ.
Pope Benedict is still the unchallenged spiritual head and successor of St Peter for millions of people around the world.
It appears to me that the church and its people have prevailed, though with lesser numbers, through the sacrifices of so many good men and women, religious and non-religious.
They have so often been forgotten in recent times.
They have dedicated their whole lives to the service of God's people and have seen their sacrifices lost in the quagmire of sensationalism and the failings of some of its members.
If they were watching yesterday, the joy, spirituality and prayerfulness of the occasion must have made a welcome change and confirmation that their sacrifices were not in vain.