I'm sitting here with my kids watching EWTN (yes, you can get EWTN for free on the ROKU box so even without cable you can watch it on tv) and I'm thinking about how amazing it is to see things from the perspective of children. And it makes me realize since I first heard Katie yell "White smoke, we have a Pope!" that my generation was robbed big time. In an effort to give us an all inclusive God loves you feel good la-la land version of truth, we were robbed of our faith. I look around me often at siblings, friends, and those in my peer group who have left the Church and I mourn for them and for us. We were robbed of our faith and never even given a chance to learn about what it is we were missing in the first place. Well meaning parents packed their kids off to CCD once a week believing the false notion that their kids would be taught something real. I've taught from those watered down materials. They are oh so lacking and almost pathetic and sometimes barely even Catholic. It breaks my heart to realize the huge numbers of folks who left our Holy Mother Church without ever learning what it is they were turning their backs on to begin with. I have often felt immensely blessed that I was given an innate knowledge of many of the teachings of the Church that were not only never taught to me by an earthly person, but many times openly contradicted and taught against. Yes, it made for some interesting conversations when I would attempt to argue from what I felt God was telling me and the adults around me would basically use the argument that I was just too young to know anything so I was wrong. Imagine my surprise as I got older and realized that I was right to begin with. Sigh. I'm sure that many other people received the same gift.
And yet, on a more positive note my heart is thrilled with the absolute youth and vibrancy you see in the Church today. It gives me hope for the future. The next few years will be very hard with so many in our older generations needing the ministry of priests and with so few around to serve them but I have hope that in 20 years we will see a huge surge in priestly vocations.
And now to go back to watching/hearing the news with my children. Habemus Papam. May God grant you a long life and the wisdom necessary to fulfill the duties laying ahead of you, whomever you may be.