I’ve been to hundreds of youth conferences, camps, and retreats. And rarely one goes by that I don’t hear a men’s or women’s talk that encourage those who are single to spend time waiting, trusting, and praying for their future spouse. Now I know the analogy can get a little weird if we push it too far, so let’s be careful there. But in the same way that a single person who is waiting for a future spouse makes it a good practice to pray for their future spouse, we as a Church should pray for the future pope. We should ask the Lord to protect him, bless him, and make him ready. We should ask the Lord to give us strength, to encourage us in the interregnum (the time between popes), and to make us a more loving and faithful Church under the care of the next pope.
For me, it took my mind wondering and asking what my next pope would be like to realize how important it was to be praying for him every day.
Editor’s Note: This is a pastoral statement by Fr. Dan Beeman, pastor of Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Norfolk, Virgina. It was originally published in his parish’s bulletin a week after the death of Osama bin Laden. Norfolk is home to some of the largest military installations in the world. Many US Navy SEALS and their families call Norfolk home. The statement below was written for that community, but we share it with you here in a broader context because we believe it is clearly expresses the relief and the burden most of us feel in our hearts regarding the death of Osama bin Laden.
“All priests, who are constituted in the order of the priesthood by the sacrament of Order, are bound together by an intimate sacramental brotherhood…” — Catechism of the Catholic Church 1568
I grew up in a house with two older brothers. As the youngest, I wasn’t always a part of the activities and sports that filled their days. I took my share of punches, and I enacted my share of revenge on them. My brothers still recall that I used to keep lists of their wrongdoing so I could blackmail them for things. (For the record, I don’t condone that behavior.)