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our new papa

Watching the live coverage of the Vatican this afternoon shortly after the white smoke was announced was interesting, especially since I somehow managed to find the raw feed that was being shown on the jumbotron in St. Peter’s Square. Seeing and hearing what the people gathered were—though I didn’t understand any of the languages being spoken—made me almost feel like I was there with them! Without the commentary from a news outlet talking over the events and without someone dubbing everything said into English for me, I was able to just take in the impressions.

1. Hearing “Habemus Papam!” When Benedict was elected, I was a college freshman and too bitter about John Paul II’s death to want to accept a new pope into my life!

2. Seeing so many world flags flying. Listening to the Italians chant. They all sang a song when the band was playing, which must have been the Vatican City national anthem or something. Hearing a huge group of people sing together always makes me tear up!

3. The surprise on the pope’s face as he first looked out on a hundred thousand Catholics screaming with excitement, a small fraction of millions of people immediately kind of in love with him.

4. His smile! A cute grandfather smile.

5. The way he bowed before his congregation, clearly understood as a bow of humble service long before I figured out he’d asked the people to pray for him.

6. That some of the first words out of his mouth as Pope caused kindly laughter!

Pope Francis will have a lot to teach us, I can already tell. I already love him. Let’s learn together, darlings!

As our Papa told us earlier, good night and sleep well!

the Chickadee

Live Feed of the Vatican

Live Feed of the Vatican:

It’s actually just nicer to listen to the Italians scream and chant while we wait for the announcement without all the commentary! (Of course, I will have no clue what they’re saying when they start, but enjoy this while it lasts!!!)

meanwhile, on tumblr




And white smoke from the Vatican means… there is a new pope!


HABEMUS PAPAM!!!!!!!!!!!!! Crying tears of joy!!!!!



religious liberty…

“Religious liberty might be supposed to mean that everybody is free to discuss religion. In practice it means that hardly anybody is allowed to mention it.”

G.K. Chesterton (via caitriona3)

It sure feels that way, doesn’t it? We should speak where we can, but don’t worry, darlings—they can’t silence our actions. They can’t silence how we live. Small actions add up, imagine if we all spent a couple minutes a day growing our little Virtue Trees. So be loudly alive!


“We refuse to tell teenagers not to have sex, because the only thing our culture cherishes more than…”

“We refuse to tell teenagers not to have sex, because the only thing our culture cherishes more than sexual license is avoiding the appearance of hypocrisy. And we won’t tell teenagers that sex belongs in marriage because we’ve emptied marriage of its significance to the point that it’s a hollow shell, less than a contract. (And besides, that’s totally judgmental, which is almost as bad as hypocrisy.) And so, when the dire social consequences of epidemic teen pregnancy can no longer be ignored, having absolved ourselves of any responsibility for the mess, we lay the blame in the one place it most obviously doesn’t belong. By portraying them as little bundles of life-sucking terror, we blame the babies.”

from “Blame the Babies” by Stephen White (via badwolfcomplex)

So true, but don’t let it hold you down. There are many things in this world that need to change, and we need to look them in the face. But with God’s help, we can do something about them!


too old or too young

“People spend the first half of their lives saying they’re too young for that stuff. Then they spend the second half of their lives saying they’re too old for that stuff. People live their lives in a quiet desperation. Do not say you are too old. Do not say you are too young.”

Matthew Kelley


what we suffer

Somehow I managed to mess up cross-posting between Tumblr and…

Somehow I managed to mess up cross-posting between Tumblr and WordPress so they continued bouncing off each other every half hour in an infinitely loop of insane madness.

At least the post was about hope, right?! … I’ll just go over here and hide now.

hope in who you are

Last weekend was the last one before our youth minister leaves to take a full-time youth minister position in the south. He’s both sad and excited about it, and we’re both sad to lose him and excited for him about this new chapter in his life. After the announcement, he received some text and Facebook messages from the teens expressing the powerful impact he’s had on them. He said you never know how you effect someone.

He’d been surprised about these messages because he’d had doubts on his effectiveness. He could have been more organized, he said, and gotten information out to the volunteers sooner. He could have scheduled more fun events, said better things, pressed harder for a “cooler” room to meet in, and any number of things. But what he was really good at was chatting and relating to our teens, listening to them, challenging them in his unassuming way, living the way he tried to teach, and sharing his experiences. All those other things he could have been better at weren’t important to the people who were most important!

I think we all struggle with stuff like this. Sure, we should always be looking toward self-improvement, but some characteristics are more important than others. People you hang out with feel this about you more than you know!

Being disorganized or not as funny as someone else isn’t cause for despair. There’s hope in what you already are! Where there’s hope, there’s the chance to become even better if we trust that it can be so! Remember that, darlings!

the Chickadee

to be or not to be

I’ve taken to reading the Youcat a little a day during Lent. (Awww, yeah.) I got to the part today that talks about God and His name:

“God does not wish to remain incognito. He does not want to be revered as a ‘higher being’ that is merely sensed or surmised. God wishes to be known and to be called upon as someone real and active. In the burning bush God reveals to Moses his holy name: YHWH (Ex 3:14)…”

Youcat, pg 31

I was struck by the ‘bigness’ of that name. YHWH/Yahweh literally breaks down to mean “to be”. (And he said, “Say this to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.'” Exodus 3:14) So God isn’t just a supreme being, but He is. He’s the verb itself, He is “to be”, he is and is the cause of “being”. We are because He is. God isn’t “in” all things–he created the tree but doesn’t inhabit the tree–but all the potential and possibilities there are in existence exist in God. This is so big that the Israelites (and today’s Jews) don’t speak that name out of reverence for how deep and amazing that is. I’m just gonna let that blow your mind for a second.

After you’ve gotten over the fact that the origin of existence exists, now think about this: The origin of existence is a person with a “personality”, that of a perfect and loving parent trying to raise about 6 billion defiant and inquisitive teenagers. But because He’s perfect, He knows you out of 6 billion, always has your back, and wants the best for you. That’s huge.

Going a step further, if God is what it means “to be” and “God is love” (1 John 4:16), then in order for us to be in the same way God, the origin of existence is, then we have to love. When we love how God does, then we are at the most basic and truest level. We’re closest to the origin of existence. We’re closest to God.

That’s some big food for thought right there. Or in my case, birdseed for thought! Have a lovely week, dears!

the Chickadee

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