The controversies surrounding Pope Francis show no signs of abating. Agree or disagree on his policies, pronouncements, and actions, we must remember that he is nonetheless the man who is Peter’s successor. That’s no guarantee, however, that he will remain free from error in his each and every act. It doesn’t even mean that he’s automatically in a state of sanctified grace. What it does mean, however, is that he will be Number One of the devil’s target list, and that the prince of this world will be subjecting the Pope to powerful and never-ending spiritual attack. That last point is pretty much not debatable, I would guess (but net has proved me wrong time & again, so you never know…)
Regardless where we might fall on the spectrum of opinions regarding Francis and his pontificate, I hope we can all agree upon the urgent necessity to remember him in our prayers! This crisis won’t solve itself, no matter how many tweets, blogs entries, and DISQUS posts are made for or against this or that proposition. Only through prayer, the intercession of Our Lady, and by the intervention of Almighty God will the crisis be ended.
And with that in mind, I’d like to offer this short prayer for our Holy Father, taken from the 1962 Missal (Collect for the Pope):
O God, the Shepherd and Ruler of all the faithful, graciously look upon Thy servant Francis, whom Thou hast been pleased to appoint pastor over Thy Church: grant, we beseech Thee, that by both word and example he may edify those over whom he is set, and together with the flock committed to his care, may attain to eternal life.
Through our Lord, Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.
Here’s a feast day so important, it’s worth celebrating twice! The Feast of the Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ is celebrated in the Extraordinary Form (the Latin Mass) on the last Sunday of October, as it was throughout the Universal Church until Vatican II. In the Ordinary Form (Novus Ordo) of the Mass, it is celebrated on the last Sunday before Advent. There is a certain logic to the new date: being reminded that Jesus Christ is Lord and King of the Universe just before the beginning of Advent is a kind of “reset button” that reminds us of just Who it is which we will be celebrating in four short weeks.
Pope Benedict XVI wrote the following concerning the feast:
- The Feast of the Kingship of our Lord Jesus Christ – excerpt from the 1962 Roman Missal.
“Jesus of Nazareth…is so intrinsically king that the title ‘King’ has actually become His name. By calling ourselves Christians, we label ourselves as followers of the king…God did not intend Israel to have a kingdom. The kingdom was a result of Israel’s rebellion against God…the law was to be Israel’s king, and, through the law, God Himself. God yielded to Israel’s obstinacy and so devised a new kind of kingship for them. The king is Jesus; in Him God entered humanity and espoused it to himself. This is the usual form of the divine activity in relation to mankind. God does not have a fixed plan that He must carry out; on the contrary, He has many different ways of finding man and even of turning his wring ways into right ways…the Feast of Christ the King is therefore not a feast of those who are subjugated, but a feast of those who know that they are in the hands of the One who writes straight on crooked lines.”