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Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires has been elected to be the 266th pope of the Catholic Church, taking the name Pope Francis.
When the disillusioned idealistic young son of a wealthy Florentine merchant decided to follow God, evade the draft, leave home and family and live communally in an old deserted chapel in poverty as beggars, he was cursed and beaten by his father, wept over by his mother, rebuked by his friends and condemned by his own church, despised by the despicable, disdained by the vain and spurned by society.
But his humble love, truth and honesty and passion for peace, poverty and the poor soon won his pitiful people the approval of the Pope and the permanent antipathy of the pompous, yet this flower unfolded the far-flung Franciscan Fathers of the future!
The frail forms of St. Francis and St. Clare, also experienced some of the same bitter criticism and even suffered some of the same violent and retaliatory reaction and persecution, denunciation and condemnation that was suffered by their Franciscan predecessors, yet their truth and sample, too, cannot be quenched by tyranny!
While St. Francis was going through the cellar of his father's fabric factory, appalled by the pitiful condition of the poor creatures slaving there to whom his smile and his hand and his love and compassion pierced their darkness with a ray of God's hope. While his poverty-stricken and ragged little band of beggars were wandering through the streets of Assisi singing and praising God in the rain.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
when there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
Grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand,
to be loved as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying [to ourselves] that we are born to eternal life.
Ted Rudow III, MA