1) Just as Lent began and Benedict XVI announced his retirement Dan and I were browsing for Lenten reading and I came across "The Pope Who Quit" about Pope Celestine V. I began to read this and finished just as the Conclave made their choice of Francis I. It is truly and wonderful look at a segment of Church history and the life of a Saint...a man who just wanted to be along with God but kept being called to do more ministry. To this day no one knows if Celestine was holy, but inept at the managerial side of being pope, or if his refusal to "play" with the curia was an open act of difiance of the political, faithless role it had become. It is interesting that he did make way for the Franciscan Spiritualists to continue on...and now we have Pope Francis I calling us back to our own spiritual roots.
The Pope Who Quit: A True Medieval Tale of Mystery, Death, and Salvation by Jon M. Sweeney
2) It will be no surprise that Dan and I have been closely following the conclave and Francis I first steps in the Petrine ministry. I have been deeply moved by his strength of character and outward signs of humility, but also his amazing ability to preach the heart of the gospel. I will surely continue to follow and listen intently to this Holy Father's teachings! If you want to follow along too, I recommend the www.news.va or ThePopeApp. Here are a few to get you started:Rend Your Garments -Pope Francis I --Ash Wednesday Homily
Inaugeral Homily- Francis I
3) Francis the I has also been reminding us all to remember the poor and care for the earth. I came across this book at the Normal Library. It has been an easy quick read, and surprisingly insightful and enlightening reflection on charity and justice.Generous Justice: How God's Grace Makes Us Just by Timothy Keller
4) We also had a nice conversation centered around Jen Fulwiler's mid-life crisis. Her insight into mourning the loss of opportunities more than dislike of one's present circumstances seemed to hit the heart of the matter for anyone who is moving from one life-stage to another. Letting go of "what coudl be" is really at the heart of embracing God's will. For His will is for us to Love in the present moment, no matter the suffering, the past, or the future.
Behind the Scenes of a Mid-Life Crisis by Jen Fulwiler