Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Musings on Francis

Well, all the hubbub over Pope Francis should settle down a bit now that he has been officially inaugurated, receiving his pallium and papal ring. It has been fun, though, reading the apoplectic overreactions from both the far right and the far left in Catholicism. The far left because the Pope is too Catholic (!) and won’t be ushering in a new era of women priests, approval of homosexuality and same sex marriage, and abortion on demand; and the far right because the Pope isn’t Catholic enough - he isn’t wearing the right vestments, acting the right way, or celebrating mass the way Benedict was. You gotta feel a little sorry for the guy.

I liked how one cardinal responded to a question about whether they all choose the papal name they would take if elected - he said: “If you go into the conclave a pope, you come out a cardinal; if you go in a cardinal, you may come out a pope.” Apply that to many areas of life and there’s some wisdom there.

One of the things I wondered about Francis was how great his devotion to Mary would be. John Paul II was all in with his “totus tuus” - totally yours, the “M” on his papal crest, and how he spoke of Mary in many of his homilies. Benedict seemed much more subdued in this respect. I wondered whether Francis, being from Latin America, would be more vocal and focused on Mary (like JP II), and it appears that he is. That saddens me a bit. Mary deserves our honor as the mother of God, of course, but if we are “totus tuus” we are totally Christ’s, not Mary’s.

So, we shall see what the future holds. For me, the future holds right now Holy Week and all the preparations that still need to be made! So, it is time to “ora et labora” - pray and work.

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