Well, here we are. One full day left of Pope Benedict XVI as our Holy Father, and then tomorrow, he relinquishes the papacy. I am guessing that you, like me, have spent the time between the announcement and today pondering and predicting who will be the next Pope. You are not alone - even non-Catholics have thrown their guesses in the hat.
We need to stop. Today's Psalm (31:6) says: "My destiny is in Your [God's] hand." We know what we want. Perhaps we want a Pope from Africa, or South America. Maybe we would like to see certain prophesies fulfilled or not. We surely know what we want, right?
Yet what about what we need? Do we really know what we need? We need an answer to a lot of problems going on in the Church - some of which we don't even fully know the extent of. If we don't know the whole span of the problem, how can we know the solution? God knows what all of us need.
Please do not be mistaken - God does care. This conclave's result will be the physical head of His Church on earth - something which He cares about very much. The Holy Spirit will guide the cardinals to a decision that is best for all.
So if we aren't predicting, what can we do? Pray. It may sound very cliche, but praying is the best and sometimes only thing we can do in this situation. There is a lot of pressure involved in picking the next Pontiff. With one hundred and fifteen cardinals meeting soon, I am sure they would defiantly appreciate our prayers.
Who are these cardinals? Many whom we don't know. For those readers in the North America, only fourteen of the cardinals are familiar and native names to us. And for the remaining hundred and one, we are sometimes left at a loss.
The solution to this? Get to know a cardinal - and pray for them. You don't have to pick your own cardinal to "adopt" over the conclave, either! There is a website for that - http://adoptacardinal.org/. There you type in your name and
e-mail address. After processing your request, the website generates the name of a cardinal for you to pray for.
I have adopted Giuseppe Bertello from Italy. The website gives you his birthday, date of his cardinal ordination, and his title in the Vatican. I encourage you all to adopt a cardinal and keep all of these men in your prayers as the conclave approaches.
God knows what is best for His Church - place your trust in Him.
God bless you all,