What’s in a Name? A reflection on Francis.

  I am truly excited and overwhelmed at the choosing of our Holy Father’s new name, Francis.  As a new Catholic, my patron Saint is Padre Pio, a well known Franciscan.  But more importantly, I wanted to reflect on an instance that some may have not have seen.  During at least an hour and a half yesterday afternoon/evening, a seagull had perched itself on the Sistine Chapel’s copper chimney stack, and literally just stood there.  The seagull, symbolic by some as a symbol of freedom, with no regard to material life, was standing there, hardly moving, while the ballots were being counted for our next Holy Father.  A bird, much similar to the many, many, paintings of Saint Francis of Assisi communicating with birds.  Coincidence?  I don’t think so.  For those familiar with this wonderful Saint, Francis of Assisi was called into the service of Our Lord, when the Lord told him “Francis, Rebuild my Church”.  At first Francis thought this meant to rebuild the local ruined church there in Assisi–as he and those that admired him began to build this Church, he came to realize the larger picture.  He went behind enemy lines and persuaded for peace with the Muslims, walking through fire in which to do so. He called on serving the poor and sick, at a time when many were unwilling to do so.  He received the stigmata, or the wounds of our Christ, shortly before he died; to share in the passion of our Lord.  He started a movement of tens of thousands; bringing the Church back to its core values.  I do not think that our new Holy Father chose the name lightly.  He knows what needs to be done.  Our Church needs to be rebuilt, to go back to the origins of Christ’s teachings and values.  A visibly humble man, our new Holy Father truly has the weight of the Cross on his shoulders.  A gentle man, he has what it takes to remind us of what is most important-  not the things of this earthly world, but ultimately of our place in Heaven.  May God Bless this man, may all pray for him for this task at hand.  May we look upon our new Holy Father’s name with humility, and sadness that we have strayed so far from Christ’s flock through sin, and greediness.  May we together, as one ( Catholic means Universal), help him in rebuilding our Lord’s Church during the New Evangelization, being ever mindful of our Lord’s teachings, and may we all be as humble and pious as our new Holy Father, our new example, and Christ’s Vicar on Earth.


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