I don’t like to get very specific when asking God what I hope for in our next pope; it seems a bit like micromanaging. 😉 And I don’t like to focus on the problems that need solving, as most of the press coverage seems to, because that’s putting energy and attention onto the negative rather than the positive.
After thinking it over, I decided to pray that our next pope will be someone who truly loves the people of God; and thus, necessarily, truly knows the people of God, in all our messy, real, varied, prayerful, hopeful, loving struggles to live the gospel in our real and messy lives. And really, I guess that means, someone who sees himself as one of the people of God, one of the faithful, one of the christifideles: before, and more fundamentally, and more importantly, than he sees himself as bishop, cardinal, or pope.
As in Augustine’s homily:
Believe me, brothers and sisters, if what I am for you frightens me, what I am with you reassures me. For you I am the Bishop; with you I am a Christian. ‘Bishop,’ this is the title of an office one has accepted to discharge; ‘Christian,’ that is the name of the grace one receives. Dangerous title! Salutary name!
What are your hopes and prayers for the conclave?