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Reflecting on the Papal election and my childhood



My First Communion Day with Tia Lupita
 I was born into a deeply devout Catholic family so it was natural for me to be moved by the selection of a new Pope. 

We attended Spanish/Latin Mass at 7 a.m.every Sunday and I went to Catechism class each Wednesday (when I didn't play hooky with my best friend...sorry grandmother). J  

I also celebrated my First Communion, Confirmation and QuinceaƱera with full blown Mexican-American family celebrations.


My mother celebrating my Quinceanera with me.
It was a big deal. Along the journey, most of the family left the church except my mom.  We found different congregations to fellowship and worship the Lord.  I dropped church and belief in God altogether for many years. But I returned to the Shepherd’s fold when my child was born, for her sake I say, but God caught my heart and that was a game changer – I fell deeply in love with the Lord.

We have a Pope text!
If I say I love God, then I have to love all of God’s people even though I no longer believe as they do. 

I found myself praying for the Catholic cardinals to make the right selection. I joined the Adopt a Cardinal site and prayed for Cardinal Antonio Maria Veglio to make a Spirit-led choice. More than half a million of us were praying for the right person to be selected. 

I also signed up for Pope Alarm and received a text when the smoke turned white.  

My soul feels happy that in middle of an age when so many no longer believe in God or want to participate in “religion,” the election of a spiritual leader for a large number of the souls in the world today got so much world-wide media coverage.

Now my Catholic brothers and sisters have their senior pastor and spiritual father, Papa Francisco, from Argentina. I can’t help but love him and pray that God will use him in powerful ways.  After all, it’s all about God’s purposes and you and I can never-ever know the extent of God's purposes. 

Deep down in our souls regardless of what our mouths profess, we all have a great need for the spiritual force that created us. When God catches your heart, let Him have it.  

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Comfort

Psalm 119:76 Comfort me with your love, as you promised me, your servant.
Job 4:4 Your words have comforted those who fell, and you have strengthened those who could not stand.
Strength

Psalm 18:1 I love you, LORD. You give me strength.
Psalm 29:11 The Lord gives his people strength. The Lord blesses them with peace.
Psalm 118:14 The Lord gives me strength and a song. He has saved me.
Isaiah 40:29 The LORD gives strength to those who are weary.
Deuteronomy 33:27 The eternal God is your shelter, and his everlasting arms support you.
1 Corinthians 15:58 … don’t let anyone move you off the foundation of your faith.
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Before I know it, sin drips from my mouth and floods my mind. Oh the struggle.
Romans 7:22-23 I love to do God’s will so far as my new nature is concerned; but there is something else deep within me, in my lower nature, that is at war with my mind and wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. In my mind I want to be God’s willing servant, but instead I find myself still enslaved to sin. So you see how it is: my new life tells me to do right, but the old nature that is still inside me loves to sin. Oh, what a terrible predicament I’m in! Who will free me from my slavery to this deadly lower nature? Thank God! It has been done by Jesus Christ our Lord. He has set me free. 
My current struggle is in not easily recognizing the extent of my sinfulness. I can easily preach it, but continuous righteous living eludes me.
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