We Have A Pope!
Praise be to God! We have our 266th pontiff, formerly Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, Pope Francis! The Roman Catholic Church’s cardinal electors gathered at the conclave to vote for the man who would replace Pope Benedict XVI, the first pontiff to resign in 600 years. Cardinals from around the world, after only 5 votes, reached their two-thirds majority to elect our new Holy Father.
In the weeks preceding this glorious news, the news media continually proclaimed that the Church’s Cardinals were voting amid upheaval and uncertainty. New reports, one after another, uttered many negative statements such as: “Now that Pope Benedict has broken six centuries of tradition and resigned, the Catholic church is asking wheter in an era of democracy, 24/7 television and Twitter, the papacy modeled on renaissance-era monarchy is going to be effective…”
Most observers predict it would take more than one vote for clear front runners to appear. More than a half-dozen names regularly appear among the perceived potential popes, leaving much room for speculation. Will the new pope be from Latin America to appeal to the region’s Catholic masses heading for Protestant pews? Or an African who reflects that continent’s growing ranks? An Italian insider? A reformist outsider? A modernizer? An American?
While all this is intriguing, I want you to note that almost none of the reports that you have heard ever mentioned once “the Holy Spirit”. You remember the Holy Spirit, don’t you? That Third Person of the Trinity that has guided us faithfully for millennial?
In the Catechism, it states “So that she can fulfill her mission, the Holy Spirit ‘bestows upon [the Church] varied hierarchic and charismatic gifts, and in this way directs her.” “Henceforward the Church, endowed with the gifts of her founder and faithfully observing his precepts of charity, humility and self-denial, receives the mission of proclaiming and establishing among all peoples the Kingdom of Christ and of God, and she is on earth the seed and the beginning of that kingdom.” 768
As the long-awaited papal conclave in Rome officially began the cardinals chanted an ancient hymn, called Veni, Sancte Spiritus. One of the most solemn of Catholic chants, it means “Come, Holy Spirit.” With this hymn, the cardinal-electors prayed for the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit, God’s spirit, to help them in their deliberations.
Let us pray that same hymn. Let us not be negatively influenced by all the people who want to sell newspapers. Let us rely on God’s breadth to help us and our new leader. Pray. In Lumen Gentium it states that “The Church.. will receive its perfection only in the glory of heaven,” at the time of Christ’s glorious return. Until that day, “the Church progresses on her pilgrimage amidst this world’s persecutions and (I believe most importantly) God’s consolations.”
P.S. Come join us for an evening about prayer with Deacon Jack Gardner, this Monday, March 18th at 7pm. We will discover how to have a relationship with God through prayer and adoration.