Well, our new pope has officially been received by the one billion Catholics and the rest of the world too, it seems.
What do you think about him?
Did anyone else feel like the days when the Chair of Peter was empty, sede vacante, was like a lent within Lent?
After Pope Benedict officially stepped down, it felt like the Church held her breath. We were all thinking... what is God going to do next? Where is He going to bring the Church?
I think it's safe to say that He brought her to her knees when she saw the sweet humility of Cardinal Bergoglio, now Pope Francis.
Pope Benedict is an honorable man. He is intellectual, and I think he taught and will continue to teach the Church that she needs to engage her intellect in order to follow Christ. I love Pope Benedict, and I love how in tune he is with God's will.
I think Pope Francis will show and has already shown us how to put our faith into action in a practical way. I hope that Christians will learn from him humility and the importance of being Jesus to those in need. I hope I will learn how to love better.
God's words to St. Francis of Assisi echo in my mind. "Rebuild my Church." Francis first thought God meant the physical building, so he set to work right away rebuilding a run down church. He soon learned that God meant to rebuild His Church from the inside out, with love of poverty and people. Now Pope Francis will work to do the same. This task is impossible without God and so necessary in our world of broken promises and broken people. I think this papal election shows to us over again that God has indeed not forgotten us, and that He always keeps His promises.
Another awesome thing that I saw throughout the Conclave was the strong presence of my generation in the news, on facebook and twitter, etc. One thing is certain: the Church is not dead.
After hearing stories of Pope Francis's humility: riding the bus with the Cardinals, calling a newspaper stand to cancel his subscription, his plans for praying the Mass in prison during Holy Week, sitting in Mass with the janitors of the Vatican, etc., I can't wait to see all of the things he will share with the young people during his papacy. (Follow him on twitter @Pontifex)
I am confident that the Church who once held her breath now sleeps in peace knowing that the Father is home.
I'm amazed at the amount of faith required in a Conclave. How do we know the college of cardinals picked the right guy for the job? I think that's the beauty of it all: we don't for sure know anything... but we trust that God is good and has nothing but good plans for us, and that he will give us the man who is right for the job, even through our own sinfulness, even though the cardinals who elect him are sinners!!
I'm actually surprised that we didn't know Pope Francis was coming when we saw the seagull sitting on the smoke stack waiting for the white smoke. St. Francis is known for his love of animals, we should have seen it coming!! Plus, the seagulls follow the fisherman!
Perhaps the Lord speaks most eloquently in the scripture from Isaiah in last Sunday's Mass:
Remember not the events of the past,
the things of long ago consider not;
see, I am doing something new!
Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
St. Francis of Assisi, pray for us.