So much has been made of our brand new Papa Francis’ humility during this precious media honeymoon. Our new Holy Father eschews the trappings of his elevated status as the Servant of the Servants of Christ. It is a beautiful thing to see, and to pray with him that our Church more truly reflect a love of spiritual poverty and detachment from this world which we are passing through.
However, can one honestly look at Papa Ben in his red mozzetta or santa-like hat and not see his humility? Thanks be to God we are not all created the same. Someone may express his love for the poor by wearing shoes so worn out that his friends buy him new ones for his trip to Rome. Others may do so by keeping alive a tradition of having a local cobbler continue his ancient craft of creating beautiful red footwear for the Vicar of Christ. Why must we accuse one of pride, because another’s humility wears different trappings?
Obviously Pope Francis is a humble man. How can it be any less obvious that, when an aging, shy and retiring man, accepts the highest office of his Church, and brings back all that is beautiful and old, out of honor for the office and the Man it represents, that, this too, is humility?
I am thrilled at the way the Holy Spirit is moving in our Church through the election of Francis in this new Springtime of Evangelization. I am grateful to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI for his humility in obeying the Holy Spirit’s promptings to step down. I am thankful to God for the great gift of the life and papacy of our wildly charismatic Blessed John Paul II. I owe an eternal debt for all of the Holy Fathers our Church has been blessed with, and all of those we have struggled through. All is from Divine Providence for the Salvation of Souls.
Each flower of virtue is unique, but points to Jesus, the font of all virtue, truth and beauty. Let us find ways to always see the good in each without denigrating the other. I am falling in love with our new Papa Francis. But it does not in any way lead me to forsake my old Papa Ben. Long live Papa Francis; long live Papa Ben.