Thursday, August 4, 2011

Fear of Sixteen

I want to note my thanks to you all, for teaching me the words of the daily intention. It did change my life! Because when I first got to "in particular for the intentions of the Holy Father" I had a mean-minded flick of "why should I pray for the Pope's intentions? Can't he pray for his own?" Erk. I'm ashamed to write that, but it really was my first reaction.

Unless you're a prospective convert from an anti-hierarchical, non-episcopalian Protestant schism, you probably could never understand the combined fear, loathing and awe in which the Holy Father is held in such circles.

I well remember watching the televised coverage from St Peter's Square as Benedict XVI's election was announced, and the grudging respect granted this event by the roomful of reformed people I was with. We all knew, I think, that somehow, he stood in some relation to us, that we owed him - something - but we weren't sure what. Also, those Latin numerals inspired the fearsome realization that he has a full fifteen predecessors, and that's just the Benedicts.

So the daily intention worked a small miracle to me. No sooner had the grumble, "why should I?" passed, then it was followed by "Because he's my Father. We're family. And he probably, no, almost certainly, prays for me, as the rawest, oldest, most stiff-necked member of an RCIA group."

So the daily intention laid on my shoulders the beginnings of obedience, that yoke and burden which are, respectively, easy and light.

Thanks, guys.

[wipes grateful tear]


[I promoted this from comment to post, because it's time I had the courage of my convictions.]


Emily J. said...

I love this. It's easy to forget that people are praying for you, but a great comfort to remember. I hadn't thought about it from your perspective: we are all a part of the pope's intentions.

Anonymous said...

I wrote to a friend to ask her if she really thought, as the Westminster Confession says, that the Pope is the Antichrist. She wrote back "well, one of them".


An occasional passer-by.