So my facebook feed seems to light up in nice regularity with swooning and fawning over the new pope and some action or comment he made. My reaction is usually….. Really..? And what is new here ?
My personal view on the pope is maybe easily summed up as private indifference and public happiness. I am not struggling with it as some others do, http://bit.ly/139g3xz, but I am also not part of this collective outbreak of euphoria. (and I give it about a year until the media finds a way to turn back to their usual way of reporting on the church…)
So popes have different styles of governance and set different emphases in their ministry, and that’s a good thing. The universal church is so wide and all-encompassing that it profits as a whole if the chief shepherd shifts the focus from time to time, brings back neglected themes and ideas and lets others run their course. Pope Francis is no clone of Pope Benedict, and that is great.
But… and of course there has to be a but…. this doesn’t really say anything about the pope’s impact on my own spiritual path and progress. His gestures of humility and simplicity everyone fawns about don’t really do it for me, his calls for ‘messing’ things up aren’t the way I participate in the visible church, his focus on a very action-oriented access to God isn’t really my particular way to him. He is the pope so I will respect him, listen to him and do my best to follow him, but well….
It’s like as if your spiritual environment is ignatian but you are much more of a benedictine (or God forbid, dominican….),
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