Of course, like (almost) every other Catholic in the world, I am delighted that we have a new Holy Father.
I didn't know much about him beforehand (despite being allocated him by adoptacardinal) and I am not feeling a desperate urge to research him now.
My initial impressions are positive: his instinct to pray and to call us to pray were very evident. I am interested that he is a Jesuit and from Latin America. But I pay little attention to the allegations that he is unsympathetic to the Traditional Mass, or anything else in his past.
That is for two reasons. One is that I think the Holy Spirit knows what He is doing: Pope Francis is the man for the job. And before anyone starts throwing various bad popes at me, I would suggest that each of them was the man for the job on appointment - but some may have chosen to refuse the grace offered and to take a different pathway than the one God had in mind: just as we all do sometimes.
The second reason is that the Pope who emerges from a Conclave often turns out to be different from the Cardinal who entered it. It is not only unnecessary, but possibly foolish, to try to predict how Pope Francis will respond to his vocation.
What is much more important, wise and Catholic is to pray for him. He has taken up a heavy burden in accepting the Pontificate, and deserves the prayers and good wishes of all the Faithful.
Thoughts for Lent from Father Willie Doyle (d. 1917) - “The path of life is rough and stony. Sharp flints and hidden thorns are thickly strewn upon its surface, wounding our weary feet as we toil ever onwards a...
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