From Peter to Francis: we have a Pope
Here we are talking about Peter… what a day to watch a new Pope elected. I had my son (who is home sick) come watch some of the live feed with me. After all we are watching history happen. (Okay so actually anytime you have your eyes open you are actually watching history being made… but you know what I mean.)
Our Catholic brothers (and sisters without voice) just elected a new Pope to lead them into the future. The next in a series of “rocks” upon which the vision and leadership of the Roman Catholic Church is built. It was intriguing to watch:
An older, white, male – and yet born in Argentina, a Jesuit, and an staunch advocate for the poor who has lived very simply in his own life even to the point of riding the bus to work when he has the rights to a private limousine. Beyond his view of advocating for the poor he is quite socially conservative and yet he took the name Pope Francis I which (depending on your Francis but really either Assisi or Xavier will do) sets a tone that is new and refreshing.
Over all I thought to myself – it was a small step, and a giant leap for their church.
We all know the Titanic can’t turn fast, that institutions are a lot like the Titanic, and that in many forms the church is an institution. Many people are pronouncing the Catholic Church as dying. Many others are frustrated that it doesn’t change or that these changes come far too slowly. And both of these are true for our denomination as well… and our own church.
What do we do when we are caught in those moments when we wish we could get change happening faster? What do we do in those moments when we sitting on the deck sure we are going to hit the iceberg? What do we do when the small steps we take feel far too small and far too late?
I don’t know the answer to that… but it does make me wonder if this isn’t exactly why Jesus was always slipping off to pray. We don’t want to not worry… because we care. But we also can’t worry a circumstance into resolving itself faster. Out of self-care we have to remove the worry from our patient participation and maybe that is where prayer comes in… dropping off burdens we cannot afford to carry.
I pray for the Catholic Church in this turning point for their future.
I pray for our own church in our turning points, and the lives of those I know for who my care causes me to worry for them – and with them. God may I patiently participate in bringing forth abundant life in your world even when it’s not as much as I had hoped for – and may I do so without anxiety for all the steps to come. Daily prayer for daily bread – and tomorrow’s steps shall wait for tomorrow. Thanks be to God.