Saturday, April 23, 2005
It has been a momentous few weeks from the death of Pope John Paul II on April 2nd to the election on Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI. The world has been exposed to the Catholic Church in a way I don't think it has been before. For a few days in early April cable news looked more like a subsidiary of EWTN (the global Catholic network) than MSNBC or CNN! Best of all, the news of the passing of John Paul II and the election of a new Pope all but silenced the endless prattle that passes for news, especially celebrity trials!
I was away from the Catholic Church for most of John Paul II's papacy. I remember his election, his trips around the world, the assassination attempt, the Pope-mobile, World Youth Days, etc. I am blessed that the Spirit brought me back to the Church last December in time for these recent events. Even though I did miss much of his papacy, John Paul II still affected my life. And I miss him.
I am not yet used to praying the Rosary, but the few times I have prayed it have been influenced by John Paul II. On Good Friday, I prayed the Luminous Mysteries that Pope John Paul II gave to the Church. During the time of his passing, I prayed the Sorrowful Mysteries and when Pope Benedict XVI was elected, the Joyful Mysteries.
On Tuesday April 19th, I attended a noon mass. The parish priest said that he thought it was appropriate that the Cardinals were meeting to elect a Pope during the week following Good Shepherd Sunday. He said he hoped that the Cardinals would elect a good shepherd for God's Church.
As I left the church, I heard a couple of parishioners say that they heard a Pope had been elected. I drove to work listening for the news on the radio. As I pulled into the parking lot at work, the ceremony was being broadcast. Habemus papum! We have a Pope!
Let us pray for Pope Benedict XVI.