First a brief summary of our three recent popes:
St. John Paul was a Philosopher/Carmalite
Pope Benedict XVI is a Professor/Theologian/Benedictine-Augustinian
Pope Francis is a Pastor/Jesuit (Ignatian spirituality)

Three different professions and more importantly three different spirituality’s. In the writings of these three Popes we can also see three approaches to prayer. We have seen in their actions three approaches to dealing with the people of the Church and the world at large. The differences between these three men can be summarized by the difference in spirituality.

When people have an opinion that they like one pope more than another, it is likely that they themselves have a spirituality that is close/closer to the pope that they like better. Once a person is deep enough in their prayer life, and in their relationship with Jesus and they know their own spirituality, they can then begin to understand, appreciate and respect other people’s spirituality.  I am an Augustinian, and while I have loved Pope Benedict because of our similar spirituality, I am fascinated by Pope Francis, as I was by St. John Paul. The differences in our relationship with Jesus (and the Holy Trinity) as lived out in our spirituality (and prayer life) is something we need to understand, embrace and pray about.

I would like to encourage everyone to learn and find their own spirituality type. Having a spirituality type is not just for professed religious people living in a Monastery or a Convent.  I am probably not normal, but it took me some 18 months to “find” mine.  Now that I have found it (again Augustinian), I am happy to be “home”.