Deliver me, LORD, from the wicked; preserve me from the violent,from those who plan evil in their hearts, who stir up conflicts every day,Who sharpen their tongue like a serpent, venom of asps upon their lips. ~Psalm 140 2:4
To test my nephew’s knowledge, I asked Kyle if he knew the name of our new pope. He responded, “Frank, I think?”. Not really. I take my job as his godmother very seriously, so I took the opportunity to get him up-to-speed and reinforce his Catholic education. Naturally, I started by telling him that our pope is Pope Francis I. He was named after St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals. Of course this meant nothing to Kyle, at least not now, but the more he is taught and the more he hears, I believe he will understand. Sometimes shocking moments resonate better, especially with children, so I did mention how St. Francis of Assisi suffered from the stigmata. He was really interested but did not quite understand when I explained what what meant. Not that I have a greater understanding of the mysteries of God, but there is no doubt it was a sign from our almighty Father.
God speaks to us through many different ways, just as He did with the retirement of Pope Benedict XVI and the newly elected Pope Francis I. The night when Pope Benedict XVI announced he was stepping down from his position, lightening struck the Vatican, twice. Then let’s not forget, right before white smoke poured out of the chimney at the Vatican, announcing the Conclave chose the new Pope, a seagull was spotted sitting on that very chimney. Actually, reportedly, there were a number of seagulls residing on the rooftop at that moment. Why is this significant? Because St. Francis of Assisi is always represented by birds. What does this all mean? No clue, but I have faith it’s a good sign.
Today marks the inauguration of Pope Francis I. Scandals and accusations have already started circulating about our Bishop of Rome. He has already gotten people up in arms because he speaks freely and reinforces the doctrine of the Catholic church, the teachings from the bible. A quote comes to mind, even though it’s kind of odd and maybe inappropriate, but here goes. As quoted from Harry Potter, “Sometimes in life you must choose between what is right and what is easy.” (Goblet of Fire Chapter 36) Pope Francis is certainly taking the stand on what is right and he is not being shy about it.
What I don’t understand, is why anyone cares? If those speaking out are not Catholic and don’t believe in the Catholic teachings, then why do those opposed care what happens in the Catholic church? Sometimes I feel like certain individuals just like to make a fuss. It’s almost as if their only reasoning for being loud and angry is to gain attention, like a child trying to be defiant and get their own way. When the only responsible way to handle such a child is to continue to do the right thing for the sake of the child, even if they disagree. Unfortunately, a child will continue on their course of action, as if that makes their arguments more acceptable and right. I am a strong believer in tough love. We need to support those who are only looking our for our best interest and not our selfishness.
Still out of everything going on in the world, I believe there is more good in people than bad. Yes we are all brothers and sisters, and yes we are all made differently, intentionally designed by God so we rely on each other and God Himself. Personally, I think He made us unique to keep life more interesting, but regardless. There needs to be more respect given and demanded, from everyone. Just like all of mankind, we have free will and the ability to sin. Even the pope is a human being, a man of free will. Granted he has a huge responsibility as our apostolic successor, the leader of our church and our official mediator, but he’s not perfect either. He’s just trying to do the work of God. I read somewhere that former Pope John Paul II used to go to confession every day. What on earth could he confess? That’s between God and himself, but the fact is that he humbled himself to be absolved for his sins and his short comings by his peers. He wanted to make sure he was focused on his work and try to live his life as heavenly as possible.
Even Mosses, who was given a specific job, and was held in a higher position then the chosen people, messed up too. Even after all his work, dedication and responsibility of bringing God’s people through the dessert, he was not permitted into the promised land. However, instead of arguing his point or making excusing and raising a big stink, he repented. He might not have understood why he was not suppose to strike the rock, at least not at that moment, but he did deliberately disobey God. Sometimes we don’t agree with what is right, but we should just have faith and obey. I guess it’s easier said than done. But when it comes down to it, God is the final judge.
God Speed to Pope Francis I. I will pray that he makes the right decisions and morally lead us.