So yesterday was the first day of the conclave and we have had two voting sessions. I am only remotely interested as I cannot partake and I have to live with the decision anyway, I trust God, I mean after B16 emeritus, why wouldn’t I?? We chose the wrong person to lead us in this millennium and here we are…God bless him for resigning. My kids and I were talking about this and it occurred to me that I was about my middle daughter’s age when JPII was elected. It was especially exciting to the people around me since I attended a Polish parish and we all know he was Polish…it was a coup of sorts too, the first non-Italian! But I remember wondering what was so wonderful about all of this. People around me were literally crying and the nuns who taught me we quite over-joyed…and there I sat, at 13, underwhelmed. One might say, well, you were 13! True…until it happened again with B16. And I am German to boot! Then I only remember thinking when he chose the name Benedict, (of whom I am a big fan, mind you) “uh oh.” Benedict, though an incredible man in our history was not know for his flexibility. I think that B16 has been quite true to what I know of Benedict…up to and including his resignation. But when I look at it from my own children’s perspective, I try to imagine what they are thinking. My eldest thinks about these things like I do, (in a yeah, great, what do we do next kind of way) but my 13 year old is intrigued…she asked yesterday, “what does the black smoke mean aside from no Pope, why black smoke?” I assumed it was some symbolic meaning, darkness to light thing, but no…as far as I can tell, and I have searched it is just that the chemical reaction of burned ballots creates white smoke, otherwise they used to used straw…but now they use colored cartridges just to be clear (there have been times that the smoke was so gray you didn’t know the outcome). So, I guess we go to our favorite answer in the Catholic church “That’s how we have always done it.” :)I guess that for me, getting excited would have to meant hat there is someone who is ready for the challenge of our universal church (read: NOT JUST AMERICAN). Someone who can see each of us within the context of our faith; it is a huge order and the person who is chosen has to really understand that Africa is dramatically different than America, Brazil dramatically different than Ireland and must be able to see the good in all of it, all is capable of bringing glory to God. Come Holy Spirit!! Come and shed your wisdom, bring your light, open our hearts, ease our fears, give us courage, help us to move forward!!