The Pope lives. Ok. The Pope lives.
What does that mean for us Catholics and really for the rest of the world.
Pops and I have talked a little bit, not too much, about the coming of the new pope. We both were in agreement that it would be really great to see a pope from a different part of the world. A part where the passion for Catholicism might be greater? A new perspective? I have observed the Latin Americans and their devotion to their church and their Holy Mother, Jesus and the whole ball of wax. I admit I have been envious at times of their sheer love and loyalty to the Holy Family. I want to weezle my way in to the very core of it. Eye to eye with our Holy Father.
So, we are grateful for their decision. It brings hope in my heart that huge healing can take place not just among the Catholics who feel hurt and betrayal but also the population of our world. Any shift in the atmosphere can bring hope, cant it? If we somehow can pry ourselves from the glue that keeps us stuck to the chair of negativity and cynicism? From what I have heard in the short 24 hours since I have even heard of this man from Argentina, I am elated, and again, hopeful. He appears to be a man of humility and a down to earth man who actually lives among the “little” people. Took the bus to work everyday from his little apartment until just recently when he traveled to Italy to become the pope. I think he was referred to something like the ” Cardinal on wheels” because people could always find him on the city bus where they could converse. This morning he traveled to his hotel to pack his little bag by himself (well, as best he can now) and paid his hotel bill himself with his own money. This speaks to me.
BUT I couldn’t have been more pleased that he chose the name Francis for his title. Let me see, do we like Francis of Assisi?
I received this statue from my aunt’s possessions who passed away this past year.
We have a lovely St. Francis sculpture adorning our living space that brings me great pleasure. Just a peaceful dude.
St. Francis stands guard at our massive beech tree in the woods. In his life he had a huge sprawling beech tree where he frequently went for silent prayer. And from what I hear that tree still stands in Italy.
Our little Great Pyrenees that we got for Christmas to guard our goats was named Francis for the beloved saint.
Our two-year old Great Pyr’s name is Clare for St. Clare of Assisi, who worked alongside St. Francis.
Pops and I have recited the St. Francis Prayer every night before closing our eyes for the last 6 or 7 years. (see below)
Yeah. We hold him in great esteem. Why?
For us, he is a man of great love for the littleness of people and creatures of our world. When I think of that man I see he is the epitome of humility, gentleness and humanness. I imagine he took great care that love was spread and felt by all. Not just the haves. But most importantly, the have nots. I imagine he was much like Jesus in that way. He took great care to love animals and I think he saw God in each and every creature. We would like to be like him. He’s a great role model.
Pope Francis, given his choice to live life in Argentina among the littlest of people, must hold some similar values in his pocket. I rejoice in that.
If he can bring healing and love as the leader of the Catholic church, then I believe that can resonate through our world. We are a hurting world, both inside and outside the church. All we want is love. We want to feel and be loved.
Now I must run outside and tell my little Francis and Clare the good news. They have a pope named after them.
ST. FRANCIS PRAYER
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love,
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Wehr there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive. It is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.