There’s a scene from the Wes Anderson film “Rushmore” when Max Fischer, played by Jason Schwartzman, sees Herman Blume’s character (Bill Murray) give a speech at his school. It’s a short speech, lasting only a minute, and when it’s over, an awed Max writes in one of the chapel’s hymnbooks:
“Best chapel speaker I have ever seen.”
That’s kind of how I feel about this new Pope, y’all.
I hang out with a group of other new moms once a week, and it was my turn to host. I had the Vatican smokestack streaming on YouTube in real time just in case, and I was so excited when the white smoke appeared.
I was excited to see who the new Pope would be.
I was overjoyed when I saw he wasn’t European.
I was ecstatic when he was announced as Pope Francis, because Francis has always been my favorite saint and the Church really needs a Francis right now. It was perfection.
And the more I learn about him, the more I’m impressed. I love that he doesn’t automatically go for all of the trappings that the Papacy offers, even small things like having someone get your luggage for you or riding down alone in the elevator – he insisted on not being made a big deal of just for the sake of doing it. He rode back to his hotel with the other cardinals on the bus, not by Popemobile. He paid his own hotel bill instead of having an assistant do it. Instead of going down one of the elevators alone after his announcement, which I guess most Popes do, he insisted on riding with the other Cardinals so they didn’t have to wait
I loved how he told the other Cardinals in his first homily as Pope that if they didn’t walk the walk then they wouldn’t be disciples of Jesus anymore, even if they had the title of priest, or Cardinal, or even Pope. He told them gently, but reminded them that titles aren’t everything and they shouldn’t ever start thinking they’re too good for the people they serve.
You might not think these things make a difference, but they really do.
I’m always excited when we get a new Pope, but I’m really excited to see what’s next with Pope Francis. My soul is happy! 🙂