An eerie feeling is afoot in Catholic church's around the world. Yes, Jesus is still present and the glowing light remains in every sanctuary as usual, but there's no Pope. It sort of feels like the first time I came home from school and my Mom wasn't home. It was utterly incomprehensible for me to imagine my Mother NOT being there waiting to give me a snack. The whole house seemed empty, and I wondered what to do. The office of Pope is singular like that. It is not easily filled . And also like our Mothers taken for granted until they step out. The papacy is the supreme end of the authoritative line...the buck stops here...next station...Almighty God. For Catholics this is normal, and natural, and completely accepted. Not having a Pope is utterly chilling to us. No direct line up to heaven- Gadzooks! Say what you will about the church,it has certainly been built upon a firm foundation. One that has stood since Christ himself with a clear ( though sometimes troubled ) succession of Papal leaders.
So it feels strange to have to stop and NOT pray for the Pope during mass each day now since February's end came and went. We Catholics pray for each other a whole lot and for our priests, bishops, cardinals and Pope, particularly in Mass, and so the difference is noticeable, and frankly uncomfortable- for me at least. I want my Papa!
But we are Popeless, not hopeless. The last of the Cardinals arrived in Rome yesterday and the conclave begins on Tuesday, the feast day of St. Gregory the Great. With any luck we will soon have a new Pope and will be trying our best to get used to his new name and the feel of his papacy. These are important days for our Church, so remember to pray for the Cardinal and for Catholics everywhere, that our hope would not be in vain.