I must confess that the temptation to address the topic of the vacancy of the See of Peter, which is upon us, has become irresistible. I've taken more time for news and streaming video in the last few days since I cannot remember when. It has all left me incredibly, I guess that's possible, edified. Pope Benedict and the Lord Who guides His Church, Who never leaves His flock untended, together have been gently leading us through a process which will have ramifications (to understate) for a long, long time.
It all couldn't be more beautiful, more real or regal. I am sure Castel Gandolfo tonight will not disappoint either or in the least.
No doubt the Cardinals as a big College and then later in Conclave as a smaller electoral body will no doubt need lots of prayers that all keep their heads and hearts tuned to the Holy Spirit. The Lord has led in such kindly fashion so far, for what it is worth to the folks who know me and read me, I'm not the least bit worried or fearful.
Identi-kits? Absolute to-do-lists? No doubt the Cardinals' discernment process may include such considerations. There aren't any particular parallels to the famous scene from Acts whereby Judas' place among the Twelve was filled by establishing fundamental criteria, praying and then drawing lots. In any case, there have been too many great moments of teaching and profound professions of faith in an atmosphere of genuine esteem to have any reservations concerning what might happen when the Cardinals are locked away in the Sistine to do their duty. God will provide and we will soon be about the business of carrying on as Christ would have it.
My friend George Weigel is beating the drums for reform these days. How much of an impact he'll have on the College of Cardinals and on the election, I guess we'll never know. Satisfaction or less with the outcome of the electors efforts really has no place and would be foolish in the short term anyway.
That the Light of the Gospel may shine from end to end! That we all might cooperate with the grace given and hasten by our own adherence to the Gospel that coming of the Day of God!