As I have said here before, I think it likely that the future pope will be Catholic. He will also be human, and not perfect. I do have high hopes that he will have a servant's heart and a great love for the Church. Beyond that, who really cares to speculate? Okay, all of the media. But they can speculate until the cows come home and that doesn't mean that they'll figure anything out!
Sunday, our priest chose to read the readings from cycle A. The first reading is what really caught my eye with the conclave coming up. It was about Samuel being sent to go anoint a king from the sons of Jesse. I love what happens next:
As Jesse and his sons came to the sacrifice, Samuel looked at Eliab and thought, "Surely the Lord's anointed is here before him." But the Lord said to Samuel: "Do not judge from his appearance or from his lofty stature, because I have rejected him. Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance but the Lord looks into the heart." In the same way Jesse presented seven sons before Samuel, but Samuel said to Jesse, "The Lord has not chosen any one of these."
In the end, it was David, the youngest son, the one that they didn't even bother to bring to the sacrifice. They had to go bring him in from tending the sheep before they could begin. As soon as he shows up, "The Lord said, 'There- anoint him, for this is the one!'"
I don't know this for sure, but I suspect that even the cardinals don't really know before the conclave who will become the pope. Perhaps like Samuel, they go into it thinking, "Surely this man is the one." Only to find out that the Holy Spirit is leading them to someone different entirely. I pray that they will be open to His guidance.
I also pray for our new pope, whoever he may be. I pray that like David, he has a simple shepherd's heart, but is willing to face the Goliaths that come against the Church. Like David, he may not be perfect, but I also pray that he is willing to turn back to God and lead us there with him if he does make mistakes (and while I pray they are not as egregious as David's sins, he is a man and won't be perfect.)
I'm glad someone linked the Popealarm (I can't remember where, or I would link it, too), because I can't wait to hear when we have a pope! I really wish I could plunk myself down in front of EWTN from now until it's announced, but I don't have access to EWTN, and I have some crazy long hours at work right now. So I won't get to hear the announcement, but I will get to have a new pope when it happens!