Friday, April 10, 2015

J: Jorge Mario Bergoglio

In other words, Pope Francis. At the same book festival where I heard Brian Doyle speak, journalist Paul Vallely gave the keynote address. Vallely wrote the first in-depth book on Jorge Mario Bergoglio, called Pope Francis: Untying the Knots, after traveling to Argentina to interview those who knew him well. I learned that Pope Francis experienced a transformation as a young man: he began as an arrogant, dictatorial leader who was also extremely conservative. I'm interested in reading the book.

He's far from perfect--he's still a Catholic priest with a huge woman problem--but he's a vast improvement over Pope Benedict, and he's also taken the Catholic church further in the past two years than in my entire lifetime!

So here's to Pope Francis, gradually trying to turn the great behemoth that is the Catholic church around...I wish him luck!

Prayer of Intercession for Jorge Mario Bergoglio

Lord, thanks first of all for the humility of the guy. Any guy who says who am I to judge? is a guy with his head on straight, a guy who gets it that whatever you are absolutely arrogantly sure of you ought not to be, and that You are the only One who is absolutely sure about things; the rest of us muddle along, dimly shuffling toward the light, mostly.

And a guy who is suspicious of power and wealth and its trappings and prisons--that's a good guy. A guy who when asked who he is says first I am a sinner--that's a guy with his ego in proportion to his confidence.

A guy who quietly turns the ship back toward its original destination, dealing with the broken Christ in every single one of us, rather than continuing along with power and pronouncements--that's a good guy.

A prayer for the peace and health of the man, that slimeballs addicted to power and money don't drag him down. A prayer for him that he continues to foment a quiet revolution against wealth and power and arrogance and lies. A prayer that he remembers it's all about kids and the Church ought to be ashamed to its bones for the rest of its life on earth for kids being raped in its house and men lying about it for years afterward.

A prayer that he never gets cocky and always remembers we are a cult of countercultural revolutionaries, agents for life, agents for crazy hope, agents for resurrections in this life, in our hearts and marriages and families and friendships.

A prayer that he steers us ever away from being a huge corporation and ever back to the motley community of believers in the defiantly unreasonable and illogical and nonsensical. Keep Your hand on this guy, please Lord?

Protect him from his enemies, and help him quietly gather us back together in work that matters, not in silly arguments. And so: amen.

Here's more information on why I chose this focus for the A to Z, and you can read all my 2015 A to Z posts here. I hope you enjoy the celebrations of the miracle and muddle of the ordinary! 

You can buy the book at Brian's favorite local bookstore, Broadway Books, at Powell's Books, or on AmazonBrian's work is used with permission of Ave Maria Press.

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