Not to get all apocalyptic but I think Fr. Dwight Longenecker nails it:
Advent is a time of prophecies--looking back and looking forward at the same time. What has the past given us and how does it point to the future?Continue reading>>>
Others have said it before, but I believe Benedict XVI chose his name because of the great St Benedict--not really because of any of his fifteen Benedictine predecessors. The time of St Benedict was a time of social decay, financial collapse, moral decline and eventual anarchy.