Pope FrancisSo my anxious waiting brought forth fruit yesterday in the form of our new pope: Pope Francis! As I mentioned yesterday, I am so excited this time around as I am about to enter the church right at the same time we have a new leader of the church.

Over the last 24 hours, I’ve been reading whatever I can on him and I so look forward to his leadership. Pope Francis brings with him a focus on simplicity and humility which I absolutely love. I personally struggle with humility and how wonderful it is to have a such a role model to emulate.

Simplicity is also something I am working on. Over the past year, I have slowly tried to simplify my life in subtle ways. Removing fruitless ambition, being content with what I have, giving away when I want to get, being grateful for the normalcy of a day and dialing back the busy-ness of my life as much as possible to be more quiet, internal and prayerful.

I have never been a person about the material things in life and I struggle to relate to others who are so outside-focused. I never cared much for stylish clothes (I still own — and wear — clothes I had in college!), jewelry (I have worn the same simple gold earrings most days of my adult life :)), make-up or nice cars. I would instead prefer if I am going to splurge to do so on travel. The joys of my life are being outdoors in nature, prayer, Mass, reading, spending time with my family, and whenever possible traveling (though that doesn’t happen much these days). I used to be focused on climbing the entrepreneurial ladder, but I have let that go and decided to follow God’s lead. How much more peaceful it is :).

My choice of St. Therese of Lisieux as my confirmation saint is also furthering me on this path, as her way of life is known as “the little way” and she focuses on small tasks in honor of God. Another wonderful role model.

I love the reports that Pope Francis lives in a humble abode, takes public transportation, cooks his own meals. What an incredible and rare example for such a materialistic world. I’ve also heard him compared to Mother Teresa in his simplicity and focus on the poorest of the poor. They say he is not a charismatic speaker or personality, but neither was Mother Teresa. Too often it’s the charismatic ones who get us into trouble 🙂 — a good speaker does not necessarily make a good person.

Taking the name of Francis of Assisi is also inspiring. Another saint of simplicity, poverty, focusing on the simplest of things, a love of nature and animals.

I look forward to learning more about our new pope and watching how he leads the church. Consider me a faithful follower now and “officially” as of Easter :).