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Jose Artega Student Columnist 

As we await new pope, we should make time for prayer

 

On Feb. 11, Pope Benedict XVI shocked the world when he announced his resignation from the papacy. He proclaimed his resignation just as Catholics were about to enter the holiest days of the Church, Lent. The pope said he will end his reign on Feb. 28 at exactly 8 p.m. After his resignation Pope Benedict will retire to a monastery within the Vatican and "will be hidden to the world." It is during this time that the College of Cardinals will gather to elect a new pontiff. I believe that the conclave, the assembly of cardinals for the election of a pope, is one of the holiest traditions the Catholic Church has.

Guided by the Holy Spirit, we know cardinals will surely pick the right person to ascend to the Chair of St. Peter. The main question on everyone's mind is who will be the next pope. Many people are speculating that it would be Cardinal Turkson of Ghana or Cardinal Ouellet of Canada. The list of potential candidates goes on and on. One thing we as Catholics can do during this time of transition is pray. We must pray for our cardinals to feel the strength of the Holy Spirit when they make their decision. When a new pope is elected, we must pray for him for strength so that he can lead our Church. Besides praying for the new Vicar of Christ we must also continue to prayer for Pope Benedict XVI. Being pope is a very demanding job and to have the courage to step aside is remarkable in today's society. We should continue to ask God to look over him and his health.

Prayer is a powerful aspect of the Catholic Church. Pope Benedict XVI stated "Praying actualizes and deepens our comm with God. Our prayer can and should arise above all from our heart, from our needs, our hopes, our joys, our sufferings, from our shame over sin, and from our gratitude from the good. It can and should be a wholly personal prayer. "Prayer is one of the easiest things anyone can do; it can also be one of the most difficult to do. Prayer is a conversation with God. During this time in Lent we need to find better ways to pray. One way would be to turn the radio off on the way to school or work and talk to God, or set aside some time in the morning to say a prayer. Prayer works. During this time of Lent and during the papal transition, we find our comfort and strength in this prayer.

"Lord, source of eternal life and truth, give to your shepherd, the pope, a spirit of courage and right judgment, a spirit of knowledge and love. By governing with fidelity those entrusted to his care may he, as successor to the apostle Peter and Vicar of Christ, build your Church into a sacrament of unity, love, and peace for all the world. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives, and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen." (Prayer for the Pope – USCCB)

For more prayers and for more information on this special time in Church history, go to usccb.org Please continue to pray for Pope Benedict XVI, our next pope, Bishop Melczek, clergy and religious and all other Church leaders.


Jose Arteaga is a senior at Bishop Noll Institute in Hammond. Email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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