Want to Adopt a Cardinal?

With all of the politicking and guessing who will be the next Roman Pontiff, our cardinals need our prayers more than ever. On Wednesday, March 6th, the College of Cardinals held a prayer service beginning with the rosary followed by Eucharistic adoration, then Vespers, and concluding with a Benediction. Cardinal Angelo Comastri, the archpriest of the Vatican basilica, presided over this service. As preparation, the College of Cardinals, alongside His Holiness, Benedict XVI, asked all of the Catholic faithful to pray with and for the College of Cardinals as they get ready to enter conclave.

In the midst of all the decision making and discussion surrounding who the next pope should be, the most important voice among all should be listened to and heard the most clearly of all. The Holy Spirit should guide the cardinals to their decision. I am very grateful that our leaders take this holy obligation seriously and prayerfully. Yes, the identity of a new pope and the country from which he comes are important, but this man should not just be a leader who can defend the faith and help the Church in her current times. This man should be someone who is above all a humble servant. We must not lose touch with what this office is set up to do. As Christ instructed, “Those who would be first, shall be last; and those who are last, shall be first.”

In my prayers for the College of Cardinals, I pray for their openness to the Holy Spirit as well as humbleness to listen to one another. But, at times, it may be hard to picture praying for a whole body of people. Kind of like praying for “our country and its leaders,” it seems so impersonal. Therefore, I give you a new yet fun way to direct your prayerful thoughts. You can adopt a cardinal. The following web site, adoptacardinal.org, will have you enter your email address and then send you a cardinal’s name for whom to pray.

Besides being fun and quirky, the site enables you to learn about a leader in our Church that you perhaps didn’t know before. For example, my Cardinal is Josip Bozanić from Croatia. He has been a cardinal since 2003, and he is the Archbishop of Zagreb, Croatia. His Eminence is is a member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, the Congregation for Catholic Education (renewed on 11 December 2010), the Pontifical Council for the Laity, and the Special Council for Europe of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops.

Perhaps the Holy Spirit will intervene in this conclave and send a sign to the cardinals to make their decision easier, like In 236 A.D., when a man named Fabian (not even a candidate) was proclaimed pope after a dove, the symbol of the Holy Spirit, landed on his shoulder. But since the Sistine Chapel is inside and locked up, unless a dove sneaks in a window, we may be out of luck. So, for now, pray hard. But I’m still open to the miracle option; God always finds a way.

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