We give thanks for Benedictus XVI. We give thanks for a short conclave. We pray for Franciscum to the Lord Jesus that as the new Holy Father he has the physical and mental strength "to govern the barque of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel" (abdication speech of Benedictus XVI), and that his Holiness proves to be "a humble and holy, orthodox, creative and courageous" (Bishop Egan of Portsmouth at his Episcopal ordination) Bishop of Rome, "one fashioned after the Lord's Own" (ibid). We pray too that the liturgical renewal under the previous pontificate continues, responsible (at least in part) as we are sure it is for the upsurge in vocations (both being necessary elements in furthering in God's name the social justice work of which the new Holy Father - admirably - is so ardent a champion).
The ambivalence of the joy of welcoming a new Pope mixed with a certain anxiety about how the Church will confront its most urgent problems is perhaps aptly reflected in the current liturgical season
and in that other season characterised by a certain spiritual and liturgical reserve, mindful at all times that "the work of Christ and the Church never regresses, but always progresses" (speech by Benedictus XVI, 2012) but also that that progression can be, and arguably is at present, "hard and bitter agony" (Eliot).
Continuing the Isaiah theme
Ierusalem, convertere ad Dominum Deum tuum. A theme of the Papacy of Benedictus XVI, which it is hoped the new Holy Father continues and develops.