March 08, 2013

Into Each Life a Little Interregnum Must Fall



Exciting time, this interregnum period. Surprised today no one prayed for the cardinal electors at the Liturgy of the Hours tonight at church. I guess I should've piped up (the deacon asked if anyone had any intentions).

It's hard to consume all the stories and I feel like if I should read one I should read them all so I haven't read any yet. I saw where the New York Times has one on Cardinal Dolan, a figure of keen interest to me given my familiarity via his show on Sirius/XM radio. (He recently “boycotted” the media silence that was requested of the cardinals, figuring that only applied to press conferences. That sort of boldness would be pope-like?)

National Catholic Reporter's one saving grace is John Allen, and he has a boatload of stories on that website. There's also an app called “Concave Alert” that provides a twitter feed of conclave-related tweets, ranked by number of retweets. It's awfully stimulating though again I feel a compulsion to read everything. Let no tweet go unread. Then too there's this new book that Jeff Miller and Julie Davis mentioned about the Vatican that appears a must-read.

I've heard it said that this atmosphere hearkens back to last year with the presidential election but one thing is almost certainly different - the new Holy Father will be holier, more inspiring and more truthful than any of the political leaders we've had in recent years or likely in years to come.

But what a tough seat to fill after giants like John Paul II and Benedict. A commenter on Sirius/XM said that what the Church needs is a way to appeal to young people without changing the message. To find a way to deliver the message better. But wow you got to feel if the charisma of John Paul II couldn't reach them, or the intelligent frankness and clarity of a Benedict, then it's a daunting task. It's hard to picture a new guy, even a Cardinal Dolan, as making inroads there. It's like how if at work there's a computer problem and the sharpest guy there can't fix it then I think, “wow, what chance do I have?” But then with God all things are possible, especially in matters spiritual. See David v. Goliath.

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So a beautiful change of pace: instead of going to Eucharistic Adoration while hungry for supper and tense due to traffic, I went straight home, ate, and then went back. And it seemed to make all the difference though I wondered if I should've taken advantage of the “fasting” part of Lent by trying to go without food another hour. But the combination of an early lunch and a late dismissal from work made it look a bridge too far.

Got there at around 6:20 and, unfortunately, was initially in the mood to “get it done”, to say a few prayers and bolt around 6:35. But as thankfully often happens with prayer, I became engrossed and entranced and enchanted by God's love. I wound down. I said a Rosary, yesterday's Glorious mysteries. I felt the light of hope from Our Lady, a trust in her despite my failings.

Our deacon shuffled by with his distinctive gait (old-sounding and deliberate despite his relatively young age) and handed me, at 6:50, a pamphlet of the Liturgy of the Hours for this Thursday night. I accepted it and said “Thanks”. And it felt bad form to leave right after that so figured I'd stay a little longer. I was transfixed, anyway, by a possible rendering of James 4:8 as, “God yearns jealously for the spirit that he has made to dwell in us.” I just couldn't get over that idea of God yearning for us instead of the other way around. It also made a certain sense: God is spirit, God made our spirit, God wants our spirit with Him. It sort of fits.

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So what else? Simcha Fisher, in the tradition of many other fine bloggers like Betty Duffy and Amy Welborn and Tom of Disputations, has that holy boldness of saying the unsayable. Of going there, where “there” is that vulnerability that needs to be addressed even if I want to sweep it under a rug. It's that “blogesty” (“blog” + “honesty”), that is the raison de etra for blogs. Posts like that make me a bit wistful inasmuch as it shows the shallowness of my own posts.

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