I had fun yesterday with my Twitter buddies trying to get the phrase “Love Him Already” trending on Twitter. By him, we’re talking about our new Holy Father Pope Francis. Given I had so much fun learning about then Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, I wanted to collect my thoughts here, too. Why do I #lovehimalready? Let’s start from the moment Pope Francis stepped onto the Loggia of the Blessings at St. Peter’s Basilica.
A mass fusion between religious orders from the start! I am hopeful Pope Francis’ Igantian/Jesuit roots will increase a contemplative in action desire in the First World … to be alive, active in the world, yet posses a calm, inner openness and presence that allows one to lead life quite alert yet completely at ease, completely at rest.
Taking the name Francis, after Saint Francis of Assisi, I pray the world will recognize and embody a detachment from earthly riches. Just as Saint Francis of Assisi did during his life, we now have a new example in Pope Francis. Might Pope Francis help the Church recover a devotion to the true Saint Francis of Assisi, not the mythical animal whisperer? Please, God? For that potential, I #lovehimalready.
So you know that little awkward moment when Pope Francis fist appeared from the Loggia of the Blessings. Were you thinking … is he scared? Shy? Overwhelmed? Verklempt?! Didn’t it look like he wanted to get out of dodge and run right back to the Room of Tears? I heard Father Andrew Small say on Sirius/XM’s The Catholic Channel that Pope Francis stood there as he did to allow the band to finish playing the national anthem. As a musician, I #lovehimalready for allowing the band play on!
Of this same moment, The Wall Street Journal’s Peggy Noonan wrote the following:
“This is a kind of public leadership we are no longer used to—unassuming, self-effacing. Leaders of the world now are garish and brazen. You can think of half a dozen of their names in less than a minute. They’re good at showbiz, they find the light and flash the smile. But this man wasn’t trying to act like anything else.” (read full piece here)
And what were his last words from the Loggia? “Good night and sleep well.” Isn’t that just what good daddies do? Tuck us in and wish us a peaceful sleep.
In one of his first public appearances, Pope Francis left flowers for the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Basilica of St. Mary Major and then gave his second papal blessing to a pregnant woman. Then after praying before a popular icon of Mary, known as the protectress of the Roman people, Pope Francis told confessors at the church to “be merciful, the souls of the faithful need your mercy.”
Have you seen the following photo floating around social media outlets? The one of Pope Francis as just one of the guys on the bus? Reminds me of a popular management book that encourages leaders/bosses to sit in the middle and not at the head of the table during business meetings and such.
Or maybe you’ve seen this Catholic meme with Pope Francis insisting on paying his bill at the clerical guest house he was staying during the Conclave. He also carried his own suitcase out of the guest house. For setting a good example, I #lovehimalready.
Then there’s faith and reason! This one’s for my husband Joel, my favorite non-practicing scientist who studied biochemistry. Pope Francis studied chemistry before entering the seminary. He, too, is a non-practicing scientist. Very eager to see how Pope Francis blends faith and reason during his pontificate. For this potential, I #lovehimalready.
Healthy! While Pope Francis may not be a fellow foodie, he appears to make wise food choices. According to National Public Radio, Pope Francis occasionally enjoys a glass of wine (an Argentinean Malbec by chance?). Fruit, skinless chicken, and salads are his favorites. Again, for setting a good example, I #lovehimalready.
And then … and then … his first papal Mass where he delivered a rather extemporaneous homily with no notes. Pope Francis preached about walking with Jesus, building in Jesus, and confessing Jesus. Time and again, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI urged us to develop a deeper friendship with Jesus. Pope Francis seems to say: Onward Christian soliders. We’ve all got a friend in Jesus. Now let’s go be a good friend to Him.
Oh, how I love Papa Francis already!
Tag, you’re it! Why do you #lovehimalready? I would love to hear your ideas in the comment box below.