Well, the Catholic Church has a new Pope – Francis 1 of Argentina.
While I am a self-proclaimed cafeteria-Catholic, I was overcome with some unexpected emotions while watching the news coverage from Rome. Excitement? Hope? The Holy Spirit?
I’m not sure what the emotion was, and I’m not sure what brought it on. I’ve struggled with my religion for the past decade or so, ever since I was old enough to question and wonder and think. So many questions without answers, so much inequality, so many things I disagree with. And yet, I’m still here. And in some ways I’ve affirmed my participation, rather than decreased it. Two years ago, I was married in the Church, and not because of some familial obligation, but because I wanted to be. In some ways I suppose that faith – or more accurately, my religion – is a tie that binds me. To my family. To my upbringing. To my Jesus.
I guess you could say that I wear my religion like an old pair of shoes. It’s not comfortable, sometimes. It hurts and annoys and irritates and sometimes I hurl it across the room, and bury it for a while. And then time passes, and I go in to the back of my closet and pull it out, and try it on again.
There are things I like about the Catholic Church, and things I don’t. Things I agree with, and things I can’t stand.
I’m not sure if anything will change with our new leader, Pope Francis 1. In fact, I’m almost certain that the changes won’t be nearly significant enough for a liberal like me. But the excitement is there, throughout the world, and Rome and in my own heart.
It’s a time of change, and celebration, and prayer. Even for someone like me.