Today's Wisdom

Those who do not pass from the experience of the cross to the truth of the resurrection condemn themselves to despair! For we cannot encounter God without first crucifying our narrow notions of a god who reflects only our own understanding of omnipotence and power
Pope Francis

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Habemus Papam: Franciscus

This past Wednesday a Latin American Cardinal and Jesuit has been elected the new pope. He took the name Francis in imitation of St. Francis of Assisi known for his love to God and creation and for his example to help the poor. The openness of St. Francis to the creation of God is evident in this new pope - an approachable and open pastor by all means. By human measures, the challenges facing Pope Francis are enormous. Satanic forces have already attempted to discredit him by accusing him that he did not do enough as a Jesuit Superior in Argentina to stop the killing of fellow priests by Argentina's dictator rulers in the 1970s. While the Vatican was able to clear him of such accusation, he must expect more pressure from this worldly ambitious cronies. Yet the providential election of this servant of God is clear. The man is set to build/reform the Church as St. Francis understood his mission in the 12th century after a private revelation of Christ to him "Build my Church"! Francis thought at the beginning that Christ wanted him to build a church building but Christ showed him and the Roman Pontiff at the time, Innocent III, that the job was much larger. It was only the beginning of a missionary work authorized by Pope Innocent III which culminated in the huge Franciscan Order that since then has grown fast and under Francis' leadership attracted many disciples to Christ in many forms mainly in the Franciscan Friars who follow St. Francis' rules of poverty, chastity, and obedience.
Coming from a most formidable order, the Jesuit Pope Francis is making waves for unity. Unity between the two competing great orders: The Jesuits and the Franciscans...But most urgently his vocation for the unity of Christians. A man of great learning yet humble spirit, Pope Francis is set for the reevangelization of the world first by example then by teaching. His deep education & yet simple appearance have already revealed a rich personality capable of addressing urgent as well as long-term troubles and questions in the world's global economic structure and possibly in influencing the modification of such structure to serve those most in need. Indeed, Pope Francis will also very likely use the Jesuit method of addressing global issues such as armament, violence, hatred, persecution, and injustice. He has already made vibrations in his joking with the media when he gently rebuked them yesterday for their recent attempt to publish false accusations. Today, he mingled with the adoring crowds in St. Peter's Square thus reminding us of John Paul the Great. In all it seems that God has followed through the most difficult period facing Christians in recent history since World war II  by choosing holy Pontiffs from Pius XII to Blessed John XXIII, followed by Paul VI, John Paul I, Blessed John Paul II, the great theologian Benedict XVI and last but not least by the election of Pope Francis who is both Jesuit and now a follower of St. Francis. May he be, as his patron was, an "Alter Christus" - Yes, another "Christ"!

Today's Quote

"Behold I make all things new." (Revelation 21:5)


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