One of my favorite responses to the pope’s news Monday came from the Knights of Columbus. It was a prayer.
O Lord Jesus Christ, Supreme Pastor of Your Church,
we thank you for the ministry of Pope Benedict XVI
and the selfless care with which he has led us
as Successor of Peter, and Your Vicar on earth.
Good Shepherd, who founded Your Church
on the rock of Peter’s faith
and have never left Your flock untended,
look with love upon us now,
and sustain Your Church in faith, hope, and charity.
Grant, Lord Jesus, in Your boundless love for us,
a new Pope for Your Church
who will please You by his holiness
and lead us faithfully to You,
who are the same yesterday, today, and forever.
People are unsettled, not quite past the shock. I wish I could tour the Catholic churches of the United States today to get a better feel for the mood. However you feel, the Good Shepherd founded Christ’s Church on the rock of St. Peter! Have faith! We are not alone! The cardinals are not alone! Our Heavenly Father loves us and provides us men of faith. Look around, they may not be the ones who always make headlines but we have so many holy priests, so many holy people. Look around and pray for one another, that we may all be holy, together, bringing each other along the way, to our eternal destination.
That’s what the Holy Father has been doing, and will be doing. His news is a reminder we can have different calls at different moments of our lives. His now is to pray with a renewed intensity and focus. Knowing this, we might all join in his prayer a little more intensely. This is some of the “spiritual closeness” he talked about in his Angelus this Sunday.
So let us follow the papal lead, and pray. Thanks to the Knights for the words here with which to follow. Also following the @pontifex lead, if you tweet, they suggest letting the Holy Father know you’re praying for him with the “hashtag” #prayerfortheChurch. Seems in keeping with his hopes for our communications, and especially our social media … that it might always lead us to prayer, to holiness, together.