Like many in our world, I am surprised at the election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 76, as the new Pope: a Jesuit, from Argentina, who is taking the name of perhaps the hardest saint there could be to emulate: Francis.
The Holy Spirit has surprised the world once again. No one from a religious order has ever been pope. No one from Americas. Until now.
And he has a gentle smile.
Please pray for the new pope, that he will be an instrument of unity, and not division; that he will challenge us to care for the poor and wounded in the world; that he will help heal the wounds of many created by the Catholic church, by all churches and all religions in this world; that he will find his way to change an institution seemingly impervious to change and that he will be open to long overdue reforms; and may he preach with courage and faith the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
On a personal note, all of my spiritual directors have been Jesuits, and I am much shaped by their spirituality, intellect, simplicity, commitment to the poor and social justice. To have a Jesuit pope is truly uncharted territory and remarkable.
And I liked his touch. "I'll see you soon," he said before departing the papal balcony.
Here is a link to an objective-sounding profile of Cardinal Bergolio from the National Catholic Reporter: HERE.
By James Richardson, Fiat Lux