Thursday, March 14, 2013

Oh you wanted my papal thoughts...

Since I know you have all been anxiously awaiting my thoughts on the conclave, the election, and our new pope, I thought I would spare you any further stress...voila

It was so exciting!  Who knew how fantastically exciting this process could be!?! I am about to tell you something that I didn't realize until the eve of the conclave.  When Pope John Paul II died, I did not pay any attention at all to the process of the election.  See, to me, JPII was more than a Pope, when he died, for a variety of reasons, my heart was broken. I had just started working in the Church, I started to realize not everyone that worked for the Church, loved the Church, and frankly, I was losing my ability to see things with a hopeful heart.  When he died, it was like a friend died. I had no interest at.all. in seeing who would replace my friend. I didn't pay attention, I was happy about Ratzinger, but I would never describe it as exciting.

It wasn't until this time, I realized that I didn't pay attention to Pope Benedict XVI's election because my heart was broken.  I had not put two and two together.  Well, that led me to watch a few videos on my boy JPII and that had me in hysterics.  I was in my bed, praying to the Lord that the Church would elect someone like him this time.  Frankly, I was begging God to allow Dolan's election to happen.  Not just because I like him, it was more than that.  I was praying that God would give us another pope who so clearly showed the Love/Joy/Excitement that comes with being a disciple of Christ.

I have told many of you, on the morning of the first vote (um, three days ago) I was driving in my car and once again begging for the Holy Spirit to somehow work a miracle and inspire the hearts of the cardinals to elect Dolan or someone like him.  A tangible witness of joy. During that prayer (these were, no joke, very intense prayers, God and I were having an actual conversation), the good Lord reminded me that he's 'got this'.  He reminded me, the world is very much bigger than what I could see.  He reminded me, He knows  so much more than I ever could...that He cares for the hearts of His people.  Lastly, He spoke very clearly to me and said, "Please remember, your prayers...they are to end with a 'not my will, but YOURS be done".  Gotcha God...I started to prepare myself for the announcement.

I had a very very frustrating day at work on Wednesday.  I work for a Catholic Church, as many of you know. I guess, I am of the belief, if you work for a Catholic Church and white smoke goes up...the world kind of shuts down and you get to be a part of Church History.  Apparently, not many other people I work with felt that way.  I don't have anything else to say about that.

As I said, I couldn't watch when the white smoke blew- I had no way of watching it live.  About 1/2 hour after the smoke, I got a text from a local number, but not one that I recognized...it said, 'Oh my gosh Mary, are you freaking out?!?!  Dolan, Dolan!!! Are you freaking out???'.  Then I got a second text from a friend (that ended up being totally coincidental) saying, 'are you totally freaking out right now?!?!'.  Funny joke men, well played.  Of course, for a hot second, I thought my boy got it, I called my friend John who let me know there had not been an announcement.  Mike and Erik- I believe both of you read my blog.  Payback is a word that I don't use in written form, but be ready. It WONT be pretty.

I got to a tv for fifteen minutes, I saw the announcement.  A picture flashed on the screen of a grumpy looking old guy...  I was bummed. I mean bummed.  But, chose to trust.

On the radio on way back to work I was slowly discovering who this man from Argentina was.   Wait he is a Jesuit?  Wait, he chose the name Francis?!?!!?  Wait, he lives in an apartment, rides the bus and cooks his own meals?  What the what? Stop the presses.  WAIT, A JESUIT CHOSE THE NAME FRANCIS (insert text to my friend Sean (Jesuit background) who has razzed me for years about the Franciscans)???  My husband called and said, 'Mary, you have to check this guy out, these quotes from him are pretty unbelievable'.  And so I did.  THEN, I saw a picture of him smiling.  Be still my heart.  He's got it.

Just three more things to say about our boy.
First-  this meme sums everything up for me.  When I first saw it, I didn't like it.  It seemed to indicate that the other popes were lacking in the virtue not describing them.  Then, I sat with it and lemme tell you- I adore seeing the Will of  the Father so clearly laid out through the Church His Son instituted.  Be. still. my. heart.

Second-  This pope is going to make a lot of people who like to use labels, feel desperately uncomfortable.  As I said to a facebook friend yesterday, the Catholic Church is staunchly pro-social justice (with an option for the poor), hugely pro-personal responsibility and, finally, unwavering in her stances on Faith and Morals.  You see, this ain't a progressive pope.  This ain't a traditional pope.  This ain't a liberal pope and this ain't a conservative pope.  This guy is the real deal.  This guy is Catholic.  And to those of you, like myself, that work for the Church...he just upped the ante.  And he did it by his example. More to say on that in upcoming weeks...


Peace and love!


  1. Good stuff, Mary! What a surprise for sure...but then again, isn't God full of surprises in our lives too? :)

  2. While I was watching I saw the red curtain and suddenly felt the heaviness of it all for him. I prayed prayed prayed even as I had no idea who the heck they picked b/c the name sounded Italian, but the press was saying he was from Argentina. When he came out I KNEW he was perfect and when he spoke all like "Good evening, and how are you all doing?" I just wept. I continued to weep because he then went on with his asking we pray for B16 and then asking we bless him first. Like, "Please guys, I can't even do this until you bless me." Also, doctorate in Thomistic studies, Jesuit, Franciscan name. And Andrew Sullivan has been picking on him. He's perfect.

  3. Mary-
    I would have been frustrated about the meeting too . . . we are Catholic after all and this is a historic moment for the church! Pete's work had a room set up since the beginning of the conclave for staff to go and watch the live cam. of the chimney on EWTN. They had snacks and prayer cards, etc. Pete was in the middle of a meeting when is Popealarm went off . . . they stopped immediately and went to the room. I was on the phone with him when Pope Francis came out on the balcony. There was so much clapping at his work, I could not hear anything!! So, some Catholic workplaces get it.

    I had similar feelings as you when I first saw who was named Pope . . . planning to write a post about it all.

  4. Ugh, I keep forgetting to come comment! I still can't believe you couldn't watch it. I mean, I can believe it but...you know. I agree on numero dos. This is going to be interesting and I think we're all going to be pushed out of our comfort zones some or a lot.