Sept. 21, 2015 Monday: St. Matthew, Apostle
Father Spadaro: Who is Jorge Mario Bergoglio?
Pope Francis: I do not know what might be the most fitting description.... I am a sinner. This is the most accurate definition. It is not a figure of speech, a literary genre. I am a sinner....when I had to come to Rome, I always stayed in Via della Scrofa. From there I often visited the Church of St. Louis of France, and I went there to contemplate the painting of ‘The Calling of St. Matthew,’ by Caravaggio. That finger of Jesus, pointing at Matthew. That’s me. I feel like him. Like Matthew. It is the gesture of Matthew that strikes me: he holds on to his money as if to say, ‘No, not me! No, this money is mine.’ Here, this is me, a sinner on whom the Lord has turned his gaze. And this is what I said when they asked me if I would accept my election as pontiff. I am a sinner, but I trust in the infinite mercy and patience of our Lord Jesus Christ, and I accept in a spirit of penance.
The following is from the book, Pope Francis: Why He Leads the Way He Leads (Loyola Press)
There is no leadership training program for popes-to-be. Nor did some Vatican functionary hand Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio the New Pope Handbook or Pontificate for Dummies as soon as white smoke started pumping into the Vatican sky to announce his pontificate as Pope Francis. Instead, as best we outsiders know, fellow cardinals applauded his election, vested him in white, gave him some prayerful privacy to recollect himself, then pushed (well, escorted) him onto the loggia of St. Peter’s Basilica to assume leadership of 1.2 billion Catholics.
Where did he learn to lead like this? Where does his vision come from? And what might the rest of us learn from him?
What Prepares anyone to lead well? After all, like the pope, we sometimes find ourselves thrust onto that metaphorical balcony: step up, it’s time to lead this department, your family, this classroom, or, as the case may be, the whole Catholic Church.
Some folks approach such opportunities knowing that they are superbly prepared to lead, and that unshakable self-confidence stays with them every day of their careers. We call such people narcissists. They often get their organizations into trouble because, blinded by the radiant glow of their self-perceived greatness, they don’t see what havoc they create or what misery they inflict on others.
Those of us with even a smidgen of self-awareness, on the other hand, quickly realize that no one fully trained us for the leadership challenges we inherit.
"Today’s world stands in great need of witnesses, not so much of teachers but rather of witnesses. It’s not so much about speaking, but rather speaking with our whole lives." (Pope Francis, Address from St. Peter’s Square, May 18, 2013)