Saturday when I went to confession, my penance was to pray that the cardinals would choose a new pope who would carry on the work of John Paul II and Benedict XVI. I thought it was a bit odd. If the priest had told me to pray for a pope that would undo the work that the last two popes have done, I would have had to say no. Since I really want a pope that will carry on their work, I did pray for what he asked, but most of all I prayed that the cardinals would select the pope that the Holy Spirit directs them to select. I don't really have any doubts that they will.
While I was praying, it occurred to me that God already knows who the new pope will be, and that I could start praying for him right now. I can pray that he will be ready to assume the world's most difficult job and that he will be peaceful about his choice. So I will! And I think that the prayer of St. John Fisher for holy bishops, the prayer that my husband and I have been praying for all our bishops, is a pretty good prayer to use in this respect. I wrote about it in one of my first posts, and I will go ahead and copy it here.
Prayer for Holy Bishops by Saint John Fisher
Lord, according to Thy promise that the Gospel should be preached throughout the whole world, raise up men fit for such work. The Apostles were but soft and yielding clay till they were baked hard by the fire of the Holy Ghost. So, good Lord, do now in like manner with Thy Church militant, change and make the soft and slippery earth into hard stones. Set in the Thy Church strong and mighty pillars that may suffer and endure great labors--watching, poverty, thirst, hunger, cold and heat--which also shall not fear the threatenings of princes, persecution, neither death, but always persuade and think with themselves to suffer with a good will, slanders, shame, and all kinds of torments, for the glory and laud of Thy Holy Name. By this manner, good Lord, the truth of Thy Gospel shall be preached throughout the world. Therefore, merciful Lord, exercise Thy mercy, show it indeed upon Thy Church. Amen.It's on a page on the sidebar, too, if you need to find it quickly. I also put a page with links to the stations there yesterday.
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Last year when I was having to make so many trips to the eye doctor after my cataract operations, they found that I have another problem with my retina that will require surgery if it continues to get worse. It has begun to affect my vision a bit and today I am going to see the retina doctor. So, if you have a moment to pray for me, I would appreciate it. Thanks.