“Let us offer our prayers and make sacrifices for the cardinals who will gather in conclave to elect the successor of St. Peter, whom we already love with all our heart.” Bishop Javier Echevarría, Prelate of Opus Dei.
The resignation of Benedict XVI reminds us that it is the Spirit of the Father and the Son who is the one guiding Holy Mother Church. Jesus Christ, Perfect Man and Perfect God, the Founder of the most holy Roman Church, wants a human instrument to make him visible before the community of disciples of faith, hope and charity.
And so even if the ‘Chair of Peter’ is vacant due to the resignation of Benedict XVI, which saddens us, the words of Jesus are consoling: “I will not leave you orphans … I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you forever. (John 14: 18 & 16).
When he ascended to the right hand of His Father, the Master conferred on Peter the tiller of his barque. And this chain of conferral continues, because after one pontificate comes another, in accord with Christ’s promise to Simon: And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Matt. 16:18)
Although Christ’s words do not pass away and He remains true to his promises, all of us Catholics must pray. We have to pray and pray, God wants us to pray, not for His good but for our good, for the good of the Church, and for the salvation of the world. In particular, because the election of the new Roman Pontiff is of such great importance for the whole world, it is especially important that we pray for the Cardinals in the Conclave, that they may elect one who will do God’s holy will.
Let us pray for the new Roman Pontiff, for after Jesus and Mary, we must love the Pope with all the strength of our heart, whoever he may be. We should already love the Roman Pontiff who is to come. We must be determined to serve him with our whole life.
In the Oratory, we are mindful of the example of our holy Father, St. Philip, whose mission and apostolate was to resanctify the City of Rome itself. He was the trusted counselor of many Popes, who even tried to persuade him to accept membership of the Sacred College, and who did name several of his closest disciples and penitents as Cardinals. St. Philip dearly loved and submitted himself in all things to the Vicar of Christ. Let us ask his intercession that God may send us a shepherd who will govern his Church faithfully and according to His Will.
“Pray, and offer to our Lord even your moments of relaxation. We offer even this for the Pope who is to come, just as we have offered the Mass during all these days, just as we have offered…even our breathing.” St. Josemaria Escriva.