There are so many things worthy of mention, but one of the coolest parts about being Catholic has to be the Tradition. We’re a Church built on a 2,000 year old foundation, y’all – with Christ, Himself, as our Founder and “cornerstone” (Ephesians 2:20, 1 Peter 2:6).
There are a lot of opinions and conspiracy “theories” floating around about the next pope and the papacy, in general, these days. No doubt there is an author somewhere preparing to rewrite history, once again, in a best-seller telling us all about “what’s really happening” behind the closed doors of this papal election.
Now it is time to have all of the cardinals gather for the conclave. The conclave is a secret meeting of all of the College of Cardinals, in which they are locked in a part of the Vatican palace, where all access is walled off except for one door only (which once the cardinals enter is locked from both the outside and inside).
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.
Just as his predecessor Blessed Pope John Paul II had done with teaching us all how to die with dignity. Pope Benedict XVI has given the Church a new expression of fully living the Paschal Mystery – that of dying and rising with Christ. It is an amazing example of putting everyone else in front of you in line, so that all humanity can be served. This Pope’s decision was “fearless.”
Each of the three was given a special role in the Church. Peter was the “rock” on which Jesus would build His Church (Matthew 16:18-19). As every group needs a leader, someone to cast the deciding vote, so did the apostles and the bishops. Simon Peter, the fisherman, rose to the occasion. In his line are popes who become saints and popes who were less than saintly; yet every pope was given special authority by God to guide the Church for a time.