Tufts of white smoke wafting above the Vatican & we have a New Pope!!! This evening (Italian time) the world welcomed Pope Francis at the 265th successor to Peter. Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, archbishop of Buenos Aires, is the first pope from the Americas (the first outside of Europe in 1,300 years) & the first Jesuit to be elected pope.
Ad Majorem Dei gloriam hominum salutem
(for the greater glory of God & salvation of man.)
As we watched Pope Francis… wait, isn’t it so very vool he chose the name Francis? There’s so much meaning – if for St. Francis of Assisi: humility, simplicity, peace-building & ‘building the church.’ If for St. Francis Xavier – what an evangelist! But methinks ’tis St. Francis of Assisi. Since I am a HUGE GROUPIE of St. Francis, this is very good. Exceedingly good.
Back to Pope watching — as Pope Francis came out on the balcony to greet the masses gathered in St. Peter’s Square ’twas deeply moving to witness his humility. Before giving the grand finale first blessing at the end of his first speech, he asked the crowd (& the rest of the world watching) to take a moment of silence to pray for him.
yes, he needs our prayers (!!) but to humbly put that priority out there in his first public address bespeaks well, methinks, of how Pope Francis views his new job: difficult, nee almost impossible. But with God, NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE, even leading 1.2 billion Catholics in a church fraught with challenges amidst a world wracked with even more complicated challenges.
So, pray for Pope Francis. Let’s pray hard (get-on-our-knees-fervently-kind) that God will continue to transform his mind with wisdom, lift his spirits with joy (that doesn’t make sense), calm his spirits with peace (that passes all understanding), & anoint him with extra doses of grace, mercy & patience. And, most importantly, may the love of Jesus flow upon, in & through Pope Francis as a guiding Light for all to see, blazing a trail of healed hearts & minds awake with faith all around him (& this whacked out world!)
“Eternal Father, strengthen me
Eternal Son, strengthen me
Eternal Holy Spirit, strengthen me
Holy Trinity, strengthen me
My one God, strengthen me.
May this be our prayer for Pope Francis, that God will strengthen him each & every day, week, hour, minute of his new pontificate.
grace, peace & prayer
Virginia : )