1) I was born during the reign of Pope Paul VI, and his was the name I remember being spoken at mass during the Eucharistic prayer: "Paul our pope, Francis our bishop…." I heard it hundreds of times as a child in Tucson, Arizona, and it still sounds the most familiar to me in some ways.
When Popes John Paul I and John Paul II were elected in quick succession in 1978, I was too young to care much. Although I was eleven and I must have seen some coverage, I don't even have a memory of those conclaves or outcomes.
When Pope Benedict XVI was elected in 2005, I was a joyful revert of ten years, and I knew and loved Cardinal Ratzinger as the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (in other words, he was the guy in charge of doctrinal clarity and purity). When the white smoke came, I waited for what seemed an eternity and then -- along with tens of thousands in St. Peter's Square and millions around the world -- I screamed in elation when I heard the name "Ratzinger" announced. He was "our guy", the one so many of us had hoped for! Incredible joy!
On Wednesday, I stood in front of the TV once again, ready to burst after the hour-long wait that had come after the white smoke was seen. Finally, the name was announced and… and… wha…..? Who? Huh? I was totally stunned, confused. I had no idea what I had just heard (except that he had chosen the name "Francesco", or was it "Franciscum"? -- Francis). This was nothing like 2005, and the crowd in the Square seemed a bit perplexed, too. Finally, looking to social media, I saw a news flash someone had posted to facebook: Jorge Bergoglio from Argentina. I still had no clue. Then… a Jesuit? A slight bit of alarm, then trust. And of course, now, two days later, I am totally, utterly in love with Francis the Humble (who frankly looked as stunned and confused as the rest of us as he stood on that balcony in the first moments of our acquaintance!).
2) One exciting result of this papal election that no one seems to be talking about: Finally modern-day folks will come to know the difference between Francis (masculine) and Frances (feminine). It is about time! Whew! And of course, after an explosion of Catholic baby boys named John Paul and Benedict, we will see the Francis boom coming now!
3) My favorite quote from Pope Francis' first homily:
“We can walk all we want, we can build many things, but if we don't proclaim Jesus Christ, something is wrong. We would become a compassionate NGO and not a Church which is the Bride of Christ.”
Amen, Papa! We are not social workers, as Mother Teresa used to say. We work for and through and because of Jesus Christ, for love of Him and for the salvation of souls. It's what the secular world cannot understand. Teach them, Francis!
4) George Weigel has, to my mind, written one of the most interesting post-Conclave pieces. Especially interesting is the account on page three of how some of the "progressive" Cardinals may have used Cardinal Bergoglio (against his will) in the 2005 Conclave, in order to derail a Ratzinger papacy. Fascinating stuff:
Oh, and for anyone tempted to believe the smears about Pope Francis' complicity with the military dictatorship in Argentina in the 1970s, please check with Amnesty International for the facts. JoAnna put it succinctly:
5) One thing is sort of nagging at me. All this talk of the humble Francis makes me terribly protective of our wonderful Pope Emeritus Benedict, who -- despite what the media and dissident Catholics would have you believe -- is a deeply, beautifully humble soul as well. He is gentle, kind, thoughtful, a brilliant intellect and teacher, and a misunderstood introvert. I imagine him following the news and feeling pained at the implications that only now do we have a humble Pontiff. Silly me, I know he is too holy for that kind of nonsense ("Hey, look at me! I'm humble too, people!!"), but it's just my own daughterly affection for him that makes me want to say it.
6) Want to relive some of the excitement of Wednesday? Here it is in under two minutes:
So much more to say, so many emotions, so much joy and hope. Overall, I'm exhausted, aren't you? What a blessed, beautiful week. And what the non-Catholic world doesn't know is that our new Papa Francis is their Papa Francis, too. He loves us all and is charged with bringing us all to sanctity, to live forever in Heaven in the Heart of the Trinity. We are so blessed.
7) With such a champion of the poor on the Throne of Peter, let us not forget the poor orphans this day. Today, let me introduce you to Griffith, a four-year-old boy in an Eastern European orphanage:
|Click my photo for more information!|
Griffith is described as "a very nice boy!" with minimal hydrocephalus. He needs and deserves a family of his own. Please consider adopting him as your son, or help spread the word. And pray.
Also, a reader of the Bubble and a friend of the orphans, Kate Daneluk, has offered a free Lenten song download for your children, no strings attached. Go to this link and grab the song:
Explore her site a little to see what else Kate is up to this Lent (check out the adorable video). Any homeschoolers and parents or godparents of littles will love her unique and educational music ministry!
And on that happy note (get it?), have a wonderful weekend, and thanks to Jen for hosting!