Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Dreams of a Pope

"Simon son of John, lovest thou me more than these?"
 -- Gospel according to St. John 21:15
What does a Pope dream about? Pope Innocent dreamed about St. Francis rebuilding the Church. What does Pope Francis dream about?

Lately the Gospel readings for Mass have included accounts of St. Peter. I imagine that these readings have taken on a deep new significance for Pope Francis -- how could they not? -- as he begins to identify himself with St. Peter, the Rock.

Does the Pope dream of these passages? Does Peter come visit him while he is sleeping to encourage him and to fortify him? Certainly Pope Francis must be spending a great deal of time praying to St. Peter, asking the First Pope to teach him and to guide him. The martyrdom of Peter -- which echoes the Crucifixion of Christ -- seems to be on his mind. The Pope is called to sacrifice and give everything for the Church.

And then there is Christ who lovingly commands Peter to "Feed my sheep". Pope Francis must now hear these words as spoken directly to him. This is enough to transform any man.

Do not judge Pope Francis by the past, the Holy Spirit is at work in him.