Yesterday a few of our Sisters here received text messages, and I had a text and a phone call from family: There's a new Pope!
After the Cardinal announced those famous words, "Habemus Papam", We have a Pope, it seemed so long before the newly elected Successor of St. Peter appeared on the loggia, the balcony where we all could see him. I heard the name in Latin, then the announcement came in English.
With my handy laptop computer, I was able to receive live streaming video of the history making events in St. Peter's Square. At least three of our American Sisters were squeezed into the joy-filled crowds waiting to hear the name of the new Pontiff. We in the TV/Internet audience were more fortunate because we could hear distinctly the name of the Cardinal, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who is now our Pope. When Pope Francis asked us to pray for him before he imparted his first Papal Blessings, he asked us all to pray for him. United with the faithful in St. Peter's, we three gathered in front of my laptop screen prayed for our new Pope.
This morning at breakfast our chaplain remarked: A Jesuit wearing Dominican garb with a Franciscan name--what a combination. Or, rather, what a marvelous blend of gifts to lead our church. Today we had a steady wind rattling our old windows and shaking our tree branches. During EWTN's evening broadcast tonight a brisk wind was shaking the shrubs behind Raymond Arroyo and his panelists. Perhaps this windy weather symbolizes the wind of the Holy Spirit shaking us, moving us, and converting us to a deeper life of prayer and action as committed followers of Christ.
I look forward to the powerful witness of Pope Francis as he begins to serve in this Year of Faith. Pray this short prayer for him: "Lord, cover with thy protection our Holy Father the Pope. Be his light, his strength, his consolation. Amen."