“Now Batting for the Red Birds…”

Imagine Jack Buck announcing the new pope; A Prayer for Pope Francis

Now Batting for the Red Birds…
Imagine Jack Buck announcing the new pope

Jack Buck’s long gone
but in my mind I hear his raspy voice
with play-by-play descriptions
as the Red Birds made their choice.

“The Cardinals in their clubhouse
are adept at drawing straws.
And as they start to take the field
just hear the rapt applause.

“The captain of the team’s been named.
His uniform’s unique.
His jersey’s different. So’s his cap.
And you should see his cleats!

“Spring training has resulted in
a season of fresh hope.
And so Cards fans, now batting
is the church’s brand new pope.”

* Jack Buck was the beloved play-by-play announcer for the St. Louis Cardinals for half a century.

A Prayer for Pope Francis
Paraphrasing the words of St. Francis

Lord, make him an instrument of Your peace.
A shepherd to the lost and least.
A pontiff to the poor and rich,
a pastor to the world.

Where hatred rears its ugly head
may he respond with love instead.
And may he model pardoning
when there is injury.

Where faith’s weak flame is nearly out,
help him discern the source of doubt
and offer hope to those who can’t
because of their despair.

Where darkness reigns both day and night,
help Francis to reflect the Light
who came into our sinful world
that we might see the way.

Where sadness dominates the heart
equip this pope to do his part
and demonstrate the joy of Christ
through actions, words and smiles.