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My pope crush: He had me at ‘Hola.’

I’ll admit it: It was love at first sight. I have got a crazy pope crush – in an agape sort of way. He had me at “Hola.” Actually, he had me at “Francis.” And so far I’ve still got stars in my eyes. This is new territory for me. Don’t get me wrong. I loved John Paul II, the pope of my youth, and I loved Benedict XVI, the pope of my middle age, but I’m head over heels for Pope Francis. It’s verging on ridiculous, but I can’t help myself.

I know something’s eventually going to happen to snap me out of my papal delirium, but I’m kind of hoping it’ll be more along the lines of a minor annoyance I can live with rather than a habit so offensive I’ll have no choice but to break up.

Some of my non-Catholic friends have joked about my Pope Francis obsession, but I think even they can sense that there’s something really special here, something outside the papal norm. From the minute he stood on that balcony shyly waving and then bowed and asked for the people to bless him, I was hooked. He didn’t even need to buy me dinner, or celebrate a Mass.

And then came one thing after another — the lack of the usual red cape, the impromptu stop at the hotel to pick up his bags and pay his bills, the photos of him riding the subway in Argentina, the phone call to the stunned guy at the front desk of Jesuit motherhouse in Rome, the unusual blessing for non-Catholics and non-believers at his meeting with journalists. With every new thing, I found myself thinking, “This is too good to be true.” I was afraid to hope too much, to fall too hard, but then today, as I sat at my kitchen table drinking coffee, reading the news, and saying over and over, “I love this pope,” I knew I was a goner, regardless of whatever may come down the road. When the bottom falls out of this relationship, it’s going to be bad. Very bad.

I’ve already been on the receiving end of comments and questions and outright criticisms over my apparent blind love when there are issues others don’t like or want questioned right here and now, but I’m inclined to wait, to hear what the man has to say, to watch what he does, who he appoints, how he lives. I think good things are ahead, and I’m too happy and too hopeful to let anyone convince me otherwise right now. This is what I’ve been waiting for.

Of all the churches in all the towns in all the world, he walked into mine. Be still my heart, and sing my soul.

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12 Comments Post a comment
  1. Kathy #

    Nice but….

    Why does it take a new Pope?

    Why didn’t you like Pope Benedict? He spoke about Christ – constantly. He was a humble man. He lived very simply. After his election as Pope in 2005, he walked back to his apartment in the Borgo to get his things. He challenged his listeners to be joined to Christ and he spoke of love – all the time.

    People strike us in different ways, but I’m honestly confused by this. It’s as if you weren’t paying attention – or didn’t want to hear – from Pope Benedict. And also worrisome because is the vibrancy of our faith supposed to be so deeply affected by the Pope? Isn’t it about Christ?????? I don’t hear Christ in this blog entry. I hear about another human being. It makes me sad.

    March 16, 2013
    • Mary DeTurris Poust #

      Dear Kathy,

      Maybe you didn’t read my full post — the part where I mentioned how I loved both John Paul II and Benedict? If you go back and read that — or my earlier post on how I cried hysterically when I found out Pope Benedict was resigning — you’ll realize that I did, in fact, love the previous pope. But this pope has brought something new and different, just when I needed it most. My post from two days ago explains that a bit, how I was in darkness for a while and felt the darkness lifting as the hope of a new pope seemed to bring me spiritually back to life.

      I’m sorry you’re saddened by this post. I can only assume that you don’t read my writings with regularity because my life — personally and professionally — is built around Jesus Christ. But our earthly shepherd is meant to lead us closer to Christ, and if this person can help pull me out of my spiritual darkness and help move me farther down my spiritual path, I am immensely grateful. Head over heels grateful.

      Peace,
      Mary

      March 16, 2013
      • Mary DeTurris Poust #

        And I should probably add that this post was kind of, um, me poking fun at myself for being so starry eyed over a pope. Hence the line about him not buying me dinner and the final reference to Casablanca. If you hang around, you’ll start to get my sense of humor. I think.

        March 16, 2013
        • Arlene #

          I agree Mary! And as for Kathy’s comment she clearly couldn’t see ‘tongue in cheek’. I loved them all. John Paul had my heart. What he did for our youth and for my faith in particular was soul shaking. I do believe though that we are allowed an opinion?

          March 13, 2015
  2. Neil Hook #

    Coudn’t agree with you more. What a blessing for the Church and for the world.

    March 16, 2013
  3. Maria Rvans #

    Kathy, I can’t find where Mary says she didn’t like Pope Benedict and if you follow her blog it is obvious that Christ is central to her life. Her enthusiasm is for a man who not only preaches Christ but lives like him.

    March 16, 2013
    • Mary DeTurris Poust #

      Thank you, Maria! Exactly!!

      March 16, 2013
  4. Helen Osman #

    No way, Mary. I saw him first. 🙂 It is like a giddy school girl crush. Is this what it’s like to fall for an older man? Thanks for a great post!

    March 16, 2013
    • Mary DeTurris Poust #

      Helen,
      I’m willing to share. 🙂 Exciting times!
      Mary

      March 17, 2013
  5. Joanne Durell #

    Mary – Loved this post. I too am so excited about our new Pope. It seems the Holy Spirit gave the Church just who we needed!

    March 17, 2013
    • Mary DeTurris Poust #

      Joanne,

      Thanks for posting. It really does feel like the Holy Spirit at work in big ways. So exciting!

      Mary

      March 17, 2013

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