March 13, 2013
By Father William Muench
This morning at Mass, the Old Testament reading was from the Book of Daniel; the reading was a prayer spoken by one of the men in the fiery furnace. The prayer expressed in many ways my own prayer for our Catholic Church as the College of Cardinals meets preparing to elect our new Pope. In the Scripture reading, the prayer is that God will protect his people and not forget his covenant with them. Azariah prays, “We are reduced, O Lord, beyond all other nations, brought low everywhere in the world this day because of our sins. We have in our day no prince, oblation, or leader.”
I have decided to write a letter to the new Pope. I suspect I will not be the only one. As I write this, the conclave has not begun but the election may be completed by the time that this gets to you – either way here I go.
Holy Father, I am praying for you. You will be remembered each and every time I celebrate Mass. You have accepted a very heavy cross and we are grateful for you. Our expectations are high, but you can be confident that the Holy Spirit will bless your Papacy.
You can and must make a difference. Our Catholic Church needs you to step into the papacy with boldness, with a spirit of love and concern for all of us.
Be unafraid to do all that is needed to bring new life to our Church as the Vicar of Christ, the Christ who will always be with you. I guarantee that you will find the support of the People of God always praying for you – you will not fail.
May God the Father give you the confidence to create new life in our Church. May Jesus – our Lord and Savior who lived and died for us – give you a truly missionary spirit to reach out to all peoples with the message of our Savior.
Your ministry has suddenly broadened but Jesus will always be walking with you. May the Holy Spirit give you the wisdom to oversee this Church with love and that boldness.
Catholics throughout the world need your leadership – a bold leadership, rooted in faith, hope and love.
We have prayed hard for you. During the conclave, our prayer was that all the Cardinal electors would chose the perfect leader for our Church. So, we believe that you are that one, the Pope for our time. We are confident that you will make a difference in our Church and in the world – to heal the Church where it is wounded, to bring new life into the Church where it is dying, to boldly challenge us Catholics to action, to be unafraid to change what must be changed.
I pray that you realize how important you are to us, the People of God. You will be watched. What you do will be analyzed by many. I believe that God will inspire you to be that perfect leader, that perfect guide for our Church.In the Spirit of Our Savior, may you become the Good Shepherd, always ready to make our Church better and better – a Church always ready to make the world better and better – a Church alive in the daring spirit of St. Peter and St. Paul. We are prepared to be united in all things with you, Our Holy Father.