Which of These Reminds you of Other Popes?

Which of These Reminds you of Other Popes?

Pope Francis is making quite a stir. We hear the public TV stations, the newsrooms, EWTN, and others all speculating what he will do in his papacy. What will he be like, what changes, will he make… etc. etc. The other day, I heard a woman actually being excited and looking forward towards his pronouncements on gay marriage and pro-choice.

A pope is a pope is a pope. Regardless of what his temperament is, regardless if he looks much warmer, friendlier than his predecessors, he is first and foremost a pope. As pope, he is the leader of the Catholic Church, the Bishop of Rome, and oh, by the way, still bound by Moral and Natural Law. He does not make changes just because there are a disgruntled number of people who want something changed. “We want married priests”. “We want a bigger role in the Church for women”. “We don’t want a stigma on gay marriages”. “We want the right to choose”. These and other banners can be seen being waved, being uttered.

People, please, see Pope Francis as he is, not as you want him to be. I believe he IS going to make changes in the church. He will inspire those changes needed for reform. Reforms will come about because of his own actions, his own way of life, his humility, his love for the poor. He will lead by example. Pots can be banged outside the Sistine Chapel’s windows until the cows come home, they will not, nor should not, influence this man of God.

I see him as a leader who has been chosen by God, a loving and immutable God. Just because groups of people, of even nations of people are clamoring for this or that change does not mean that the natural law will be bent because of their protests. If something is better and should be changed, why would this good, loving, unchanging God not have brought it about at the outset? Where Natural Law is involved, God will not change it. God does not change. PEOPLE change.

You might say that the new ideas of today have progressed, and have advanced from the opinions of the past. They are more reasonable than the laws of the past. You have every right to think those thoughts. But you also have the right and responsibility, to know what these new ideas are based upon. Are they based upon normalcy, or abnormality? Are they based upon the need of the Church, which is the people of God, or are they based on public demand? Things don’t change just because people want them to change. The Church is not a democracy. It moves after much thought has been given to a proposal. Not the number of people who support a proposal or, even the pressure that is brought about for the proposal, neither of these will induce a change in favor of that proposal. The Church can change its laws, not the laws of nature.

You might say that the public demand is the public demand of the Church, the people of God. At that I would say you are forming another schism. The Church doesn’t agree with this view, your view, therefore you try to pressure or threaten the Church. And so, another age of splitting off from the Church would loom.I would then sorely question your affinity for the Church in the first place.

See Pope Francis, not through your eyes of someone who wants change, but see him as the person he is, a man of God, who manifests a love for the Church, warmth for the poor, and a desire to rebuild the unity of the Church. This cannot be done by jumping on whatever bandwagon is making the most noise. God’s plan for His church will come about, with or without the banging of a drum.

Watch over these next few years, how his own actions of poverty, of love, of goodness, of tenderness to the poor, his humility, see how all of these will bring pressure on all of us, Cardinals, Bishops, Priests, Nuns AND Laity. He is living a life that Christ wants all of us to live. We may not see the effects of his life’s stance for some time, maybe, not even in our life time. But mark these words, “This man of God is the beginning of a new era”.

Rather than demand this or that be modified, rather than expecting our wishes to be fulfilled, we should look with expectation and admiration on his life. We should emulate his example. We are being given a modern day lesson of what Jesus wants from each of us. We are being shown how our lives need to change, must change. Let this new pope truly be our vicar, our leader. Let him show us what it really means to be a Catholic. Let us be willing and courageous enough to live our lives following his example. Let us deal with everyone, as we would, as if Christ is standing in front of us. Because, He is.

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