As we all see joyful images like this on the news and social media, I am so heartened to see the outpouring of affection for our Holy Father from so many non-Catholics around the nation!
The Lord works to draw all people to Himself, and whatever stirring of hope or happiness there is in the non-Catholic heart at seeing our wonderful Papa is there for a reason. I would like to offer this invitation to those who are drawn to Pope Francis: Find out what animates this holy man of God.
Go to your library or bookstore and pick up a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Open it and read the faith that drives not only Pope Francis, but which was the fire within of all the saints throughout the past two millennia. You can also go online and read the Catechism here.
I think you will find that there is a cohesiveness, a continuity, an integrity there that is compelling, and if nothing else, you will have educated yourself on a major world religion.
The Catechism is broken into four main parts:
The Profession of Faith (what we believe)
The Celebration of the Christian Mystery (how we celebrate what we believe)
Life in Christ (how we live what we believe, i.e., morality)
Christian Prayer (how we pray)
If you can't read it all, read the first section, and find out what we Catholics believe and why. Each chapter ends with a handy "in brief" summary of the points covered, and the Catechism contains copious footnotes with references to Scripture, the Church Fathers, the documents of the Church, and the writings of the saints.
Catholics who would like to understand their own faith better will also benefit from a reading of the Catechism, which Pope St. John Paul II called "a sure norm for teaching the faith".
Now, back to watching the coverage!