A Cardinal on the Subway | Andrea Tornielli | Catholic World Report
An excerpt from Francis: Pope of a New World.
From the chapter “A Cardinal on the Subway,” Francis: Pope of a New World (Ignatius Press, 2013), by Andrea Tornielli (translated by William J. Melcher)
someone experience prayer who as a youth, on that long-ago September 21, during
a confession in a parish church, felt that he was surrounded by an embrace of
mercy and chosen for the priestly life?
“For me, praying is in a certain way an experience of trust”, Bergoglio explains in the book-length interview El Jesuita,
in which our whole being is in the presence of God. This is where dialogue, listening, and transformation occur. Looking at God, but above all sensing that we are being watched by Him. This happens, in my case, when I recite the Rosary or the psalms or when I celebrate the Eucharist. However, I would say that I have this religious experience whenever I start to pray for an extended time in front of the tabernacle. Sometimes I doze while remaining seated and just let Him look at me. I have the sense of being in someone else’s hands, as though God were taking me by the hand. I believe that it is important to arrive at the transcendent otherness of the Lord, who is the Lord of all yet always respects our freedom.Jorge Mario Bergoglio continues to consider himself as being the first in need of the mercy that he preaches and to which he witnesses.
The truth is that I am a sinner whom the mercy of God called in a special way. From my youth, life has entrusted to me tasks of governing—I had just been ordained a priest when I was appointed master of novices and, two and a half years later, Provincial—and I had to learn as I went along, starting with my mistakes, because I made some. Mistakes and sins. I would be a hypocrite if I said that nowadays I ask forgiveness for the sins and offenses that I might have committed. Today I ask forgiveness for the sins and offenses that I have actually committed.
“What grieves me more”, Bergoglio also tells the journalists Rubin and Ambrogetti, authors of the book-length interview, “is many times not having been understanding and impartial. In my morning prayer, at the moment of the petitions, I ask to be understanding and impartial, and then I continue by asking for a lot of other things that have to do with the defections along my journey.”
The new pope taught for a long time. In his style of instruction, the encounter with the person is an essential element. In the book El Jesuita, Bergoglio offers an example of this approach.