From Zenit via Fr. Lombardi, Holy See Press Office Director, this morning came the news of Pope Francis’ latest surprise – he will, for the time being, remain domiciled in Domus Sanctae Martae where he has been living since becoming our Pontiff.
Here’s an eye-catching video from Catholic News Service that gives us an inside peek at the place he’s calling “home”:
I feel certain that in making this decision, Pope Francis is in no way commenting on the living arrangements of his predecessors. From viewing video of his interactions with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI from this past weekend, his obvious respect and affection shine through. I found it interesting that in the Zenit article, Fr. Lombardi seems to dwell specifically on the “communal” nature of his current housing arrangements. Can you imagine what a gift it will be for those who are graced to live in the company of Pope Francis? But also — and importantly — what a blessing it will be for him to live amidst friends and neighbors who will pray not only for him, but with him, on a daily basis.
Pope Francis’ housing decision comes at an interesting time for me. On Sunday, my husband and I spent a few hours “house hunting” in a nearby community. Next Fall, when our Adam leaves for college, we will be “empty nesters”. Our current home is an amazing blessing, but I continue to ask myself if the two of us really need the space — and the mortgage payment — of our family-sized house. It’s unlikely that we will make a decision any time soon. I’m completely uninterested in the process and pretty domestically-impaired. And we still have several months before our youngest flies the coop.
But when we do look, I know I will be pondering the continual example Pope Francis is living for all of us. I already caught myself thinking of him yesterday in Target, when — en route to the checkout stand — I pulled my cart over and unloaded several impulse-buy items that suddenly didn’t seem so necessary. “What else can be done with that money?” I challenged myself. “WWPFD?”
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not declaring that Greg and I will be packing up and moving into an austere dormitory an time soon. But I can tell you when the time comes to prayerfully consider our future living arrangements, the example of our Holy Father and his lifestyle choices will be ringing in my ears and weighing on my heart.