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.
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.
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...
The Break of Spring
1 day ago