Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Pope Francis

I got the word at work that there was white smoke. I immediately went to Fox News Live on my computer. It was not long afterward that it was announced that Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected Pope and that he took the name Francis. Well there was some dancing around in elation, literally. Terrific. How great! How great that before he gave his first papal blessing, he bowed and asked for our prayers and blessing. Rome, perhaps the whole world, fell silent for those few moments. Heaven was bombarded in prayer.

Francis. How wonderful he took the name Francis. We know a Pope chooses a name that will define himself and his papacy. Perhaps these traits of Saint Francis that he sees defines him are not the same that I envision. But here us what I see:

Rebuild My Church
This was my first thought. I believe Pope Francis sees this as his mission. As in St. Francis’ time our church today needs rebuilding. I don’t know much about the Roman Curia, but I think it needs some work. The tone was set in Pope Francis humbly first asking us for our prayers and bowing to receive them – a fine example to all those in the Vatican. We are still reeling from the shock of Vatican II. Yes, so very much needed. But it started a huge ball running downhill in liberalism. I’ve seen corrective action by Blessed John Paul II the Great, and Pope Benedict. But it is hard to stop something going downhill. Pope Francis will continue the corrective action. This will flow through the Cardinals who pledged their loyalty, to the dioceses around the world, to the parishes, and to us. How fortuitous in the Year of Faith and the New Evangelization.

Humility and Poverty
This was my second thought. We know how Francis embraced Lady Poverty. I expect Pope Francis will do the same. Pope Francis we already know took public transportation and lived in an apartment instead of a mansion. I don’t think he will/can do the same in Rome, but I think he will be an example to all the other prelates. I don’t think, I hope, he will sell off the Vatican treasures, but his example will remind us that we don’t need that much, that we can share our resources with others.

St. Francis was a great unifier. I see the same in Pope Francis’ papacy.

Of course I am no prophet. Perhaps this is wishful thinking. But what stands out over everything is the name he chose; Francis. This tells me a lot. This was not a thoughtless decision. This most definitely will set his identity and agenda. I am very positive and hopeful. The Holy Spirit has done a good job.

Friday, March 1, 2013