These days of Lent, during which we try to lead ‘lives of surpassing purity’ as St Benedict says, are very precious. This year they are especially so, as we prepare for the papal election and God’s gift of the 266th successor of St Peter. It is easy to forget that every Catholic has a part in this great action of the Church. Inevitably, there will be speculation, some of it shallow or even silly. We all have our own views on what the Church needs or doesn’t need; who might be good and who might not; but none of it matters compared with this simple truth: God’s ideas always exceed our own. Our business is to pray and wait in hope.