So I already blogged about the new pope but I am still just filled with the same joy I felt when the white smoke came up. I was at the bus stop this morning just thinking to myself “we have a pope! we have a pope!” I do not remember the last conclave. I was about 14 and it wasn’t something that crossed my mind particularly. I was Catholic, but I was not practicing. I do remember watching the funeral of Bl. Pope John Paul II on television, but not much more than that. So this is a new experience for me.
One of the things that struck me the most was the emotional reaction to the white smoke. We didn’t know who the new pope was, but at the same time I was filled with love for this yet unknown person. I was chatting with some friends online at the time and we were all just saying “we love you Papa”. The crowds cheering, “viva il Papa” before we’d even seen him. When the announcement was made and then when Pope Francis appeared to us for the first time, there truly was this sense of deep love for him. I’d never even heard his name until then but he already held a special place in my heart.
It was unexpected. But a very humble man appeared before us. Clearly moved by the weight of the office given to him, he came before a world that was waiting for him. And before he gave the blessing, he asked us to pray for him and he bowed in silence. It seems like such a simple gesture, but it was so deeply profound at the same time. He stood there not as a proud leader, but as a humble servant. He is known for taking public transport and on the day of his election, he refused the car that was ready from him and took the bus with the cardinals. His humility is so striking that in just a few days I have seen people refer to him as Francis the Humble.
Let us continue to pray for Pope Francis, that the Holy Spirit may continue to guide him and the Church.