Habemus Papam: A Week Later

G and the white smoke.

Can you believe it has been a week since that emotional Wednesday that we got a new pope? I think it is finally starting to sink in. I might be able to say something about it now. I decided to stream EWTN that morning to see if maybe we could catch the smoke. I am normally getting the kids down for nap around 1pm ct, so the smoke was really pushing it. The baby was hungry, so everything else got put on hold and I sat and nursed her while watching the chimney. It was then that the smoke came pouring out. I starting tearing up, almost full our crying, and told the kids to watch the smoke. G came over and was happy to watch asking if we had a new pope. L had decided that this was a boring thing to watch and was on her pre-nap prowl around the house. The photo above I took with the iPad while nursing the baby. Yeah, I have skills, though I am pretty sure the baby was not happy about the position I put her in to get this shot. While we waited a few minutes for the new pope to come out I realized that L would not really care and that it was going to be awhile. I had G stand guard at the computer and put L in her room for her nap. Then when L continued to come out of her room, I decided to get G to her quiet time. (It sounds simple, but really imagine me running around herding the kids to their nap/quiettime rooms and glancing every two seconds at the screen to see what is going on.) Then the baby decided she was tired. I decided to bring the computer into the room and prop it on the bed with the sound off. L had finally decided to go to sleep, and G was content downstairs. I sat in the quiet of my room, nursing my baby, when the cardinal came out and announced who our new pope was. Well, I did not hear it, but I saw it… Once the baby was asleep I got left the room and called M and tried to figure out what this new pope would be about.

We have been trying to process Pope Francis for a week. Like many tradionally minded Catholics we are a little nervous about what he might do in regards to the allowance of the Extraordinary Form, but it is out of our control really. He seems to be a good, humble man, who loves his people the Church. I would love for him to kiss my baby (as I saw in a picture on Facebook today), and I am interested to see what he will do as pope. I also will pray for him that he will be open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit and lead us well.

I am still reading Catherine of Siena by Sigrid Undset, and St. Catherine had a lot of influence on the papacy in her day (she influenced just about everyone she met). If you do not know her story, she is the one who convinced Pope Gregory XI to bring the papacy back to Rome from Avignon, and supported Pope Urban VI through the chaos of multiple popes when the French cardinals come not handle having an Italian pope. For some reason I had thought that the papacy had lost its political influence that it had in the Middle Ages, but this conclave has made me realize that the pope’s position is as political as it ever was. The political leadership and influence should not take away from the spiritual leadership, but ideally it shows us how to live in the world and not of it. We in the Church are all sinners, and there has never been a perfect pope. Yet, this is what Christ intended for His Church, and we can trust that the papacy is divinely guided in the statements made ex cathedra, We can hope that the popes other decisions are in line with God’s will as well, and for this we pray.