What an unusual Lent this is turning out to be. Just before Ash Wednesday Pope Benedict announced his resignation at the end of the month, due to health problems and Catholics everywhere were stunned and in disbelief as the realization hit. Catholics realize (along with everyone else) that they are witnessing an historic time in Church history and the papacy. The Chinese have a saying, "May you live in interesting times." Well, it doesn't get more interesting than this for Catholics. A consistory will take place during Lent. High drama and intrigue at the Vatican as the Cardinals gather and have the monumental responsibility of choosing the next Pope, guided by the Holy Spirit. It hardly seems like a penitential time, with all the excitement and the coming news coverage and endless commentary. With so much to read and watch, Catholics are going to have to be very disciplined, in regards to prayer. Talk about a distraction during Lent. The election for the new Pope is extremely important, given the challenges the Church is facing in the modern world. We need a Pope/Saint, nothing less will do. And in my humble opinion, we need a Pope with a lot of common sense.
And if that news wasn't strange and unexpected enough, out of the blue, a huge meteor exploded over Russia on Friday morning causing property damage and injury to many. It caused a shocking shock wave as it hit the earth's atmosphere.
For centuries, human beings on this beautiful planet have been fighting over ideologies and instead we should have been using that energy and money to help the poor and also (in modern times) to build early warning capabilities to ward off and protect against meteor strikes. We take for granted that our planet is located in a relatively "quiet" part of the Milky Way Galaxy (Thank God for that!) and we often forget we are just a speck in an immense Universe but on Friday morning that stark reality became apparent and clear.
Prayer is very important and I couldn't live without it, but we also need common sense solutions to the problems facing the Church, the world and the world's population.