I wonder how Pope Francis is spending his first day in his new office?
Will he have tax forms to complete, a National Police Check to be submitted, authorisation for his bank to be filed? I wonder if he will call home and check that all is well or get a text from a friend and a Facebook message from a younger niece or a tweet from his peeps in Argentina?
He won’t need a seniors card or a bus pass or a disability car park or show his union credentials to anyone. He won’t pop his lunch in the fridge or have to turn off the urn if it over flows, or keep an eye out for the courier. He won’t need to find someone to show him where the toilets are, or where the stationery cupboard is or to check that his payslip is correct. He probably won’t need to learn how to access his email off-line while out of the office or need a new email address or learn another password to access the server.
In these days of 140 characters to communicate a clear message, I am truly impressed with the genius of this Argentinian who with just 7 characters has firmly, clearly and loaded with meaning, told the world, who he is and what he is all about: Francis.
What a statement and a powerful way to brand himself on his first day on the job. What fun it would be if we could all take a name when we take on a new job – what would yours be? As he was leaving the Cardinals after a festive supper, and after thanking them, he said “may God forgive you [for what you have done]”. I rather like this touch of connecting the collective to the individual and the underwriting of what has been a process of discernment and selection. He is a man of science with a chemistry degree and also a MBA so he must know something about business as well. Anyone who survived the wicked years of the Pinochet years and with all that Jesuit training he obviously knows about governing and how to talk and think his way through problems too. I think Hildegard would be happy with the choice. She could share potions, politics and prayer with him and I bet she is sending some of her wisdom his way.
I am hoping, in Francis’s first few days in the his new job, that he will tap into the wise ones like Hildegard and Francis and remember that they are accessible to him as he gets to work. I am hoping he will embrace the prophetic way and recognise himself as a shoot flooded in light. As I too have new days in new offices I am embracing the image of the prophet and if I could choose a name to inspire me and to send a clear message it would be Hildegard.
“Who are the prophets? They are a royal people, who penetrate mystery and see with the spirit’s eyes.
In illuminating darkness they speak out.
They are living, penetrating clarity.
They are a blossom blooming only on the shoot that is rooted in the flood of light.” Hildegard