small pieces of joy

pieces of joy in each day


on March 15, 2013

Wednesday’s small thing: watching for smoke

As a Catholic, the past few weeks have been an emotional roller coaster. Pope Benedict XVI is a great man and did a lot to renew the intellect of the Church, and I was sad to see him abdicate his role as pope. So the few weeks where there was no pope I felt a little emptiness creep in every once in a while.

The pope represents more than just the figurehead of the Church. He is our Holy Father, our shepherd, the servant of the servants of God. He is the Vicar of Christ–Christ left the Church to St. Peter, and the line has not been broken since then. It really is quite amazing to think about.

So as the conclave began, George and I went on smoke watch. When I knew there would be a vote we would tune in online to see what color smoke would come from the Sistine Chapel.

Then on Wednesday afternoon, as I was waiting for a friend to come over, I got a call from Ellen. She told me there were reports of white smoke and I should watch online right now!

What an amazing feeling to watch all the events unfold. Waiting anxiously with the thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square and the millions watching on TV and the Internet. Hearing the bells ringing, watching the smoke pouring, and listening to the chants of “Habemus Papam!”

We watched as his name was announced, and a few minutes later the man emerged. He almost floated to the balcony, gave a modest wave, and stunned us all in his plain white outfit and simple cross.


Then the goosebumps came.

He asked us to pray for him.

His humble and gentle spirit caught my heart right away. I can’t stop thinking about him! This man served the poor, lived a simple life in an apartment, cooked his own meals, and took public transportation in lieu of the perks of being a bishop. He decided to take the bus back with the cardinals instead of his own car, and even went to pay a bill with his own money.

I am completely in awe. Is this what love at first sight feels like?

Pope Francis has a servant heart, which is exactly what our world needs to see. We need to see how Christ acted daily, and I know that he will show us the way.

I ask that you pray for our new pope. He will need all the grace and strength he can get to fulfill this amazing calling.

Here is a great article by a Jesuit priest Fr. James Martin. He writes about Pope Francis and his Jesuit roots. Definitely worth the read.

Viva il Papa!

What are your thoughts on the new pope?


2 responses to “smoke

  1. jepetejody says:

    This is such a beautiful post. And I love Fr. James Martin! Between Heaven and Mirth is one of my favorite books!


    • Kari says:

      Thank you, Jody. Fr. Martin caught my attention when I read his book My Life With the Saints. And when I saw he is the chaplain of The Colbert Report. 🙂 I’ll have to read some of his other books!


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