I didn't post on my blog yesterday because I had to take the time to process what happened. I still have some processing to do, but I think I can make a lowly attempt at posting about it. Get ready.
Do you know what this is?
Do you know what *this* is?
This is my ticket.
Let me explain how God brought this all about. I found out from Monsignor Soseman that there would be a papal Mass celebrated on Saturday, the feast of the Presentation, for all religious brothers and sisters and all consecrated people (the Presentation link will take you to an article from last year's Mass, but the content is still good and explains a lot very well!). I asked our RD about it, and she was able to get some tickets, but not enough for everyone who wanted to go. My plan was to get to St. Peter's early and ask around to see if anyone had extra tickets (yes, basically scalping tickets for a papal Mass, nothing weird about that...). I got on the bus that would take me into the Vatican. It was full of sisters!! All of the religious in Rome were going to this Mass, so the busses were full of them! I had prayed, asking God to save a ticket for me, so when I got on the bus and it was full of sisters, I had a feeling that the answer to my prayer was right there on the bus. My Italian is still severely limited (I probably know less than 15 words), so I had to psyche myself up to try to communicate with them to ask for a ticket. The conversation went something like this:
Me: Scuzi, uhh, Missa? Papa Bene? Mass? Pope? Benedict? St. Peter's?
Sisters: (after staring at me for a minute with utterly confused looks on their faces) ahhhh si, si
Me: Biglietto? (the Italian word for ticket)
Me: uhhh, extra? more?
Sisters: (more confused looks)
Me: uhh, *pointing at self, looking very sad* No biglietto
Sisters: Ah, si. (one of the sisters, who had been sitting more towards the back observing me looking ridiculous, pulls out two tickets and hands them to me)
Me: *HUGE smile* Grazie! Grazie, grazie! Grazie mille!!! (Thank you! Thank you, thank you! Thank you very much!)
I was so excited I pretty much spent the rest of the bus ride jumping up and down. I couldn't believe it! I had tickets in hand and was going to a papal Mass!!
But the generosity of the Lord did not stop there. I got to St. Peter's square, and the line looked like this:
|It went 2/3 of the way around St. Peter's Square!|
|Almost no zoom! We were this close to the altar!|
There was so much beauty in the Mass. The basilica was beautiful, the people were beautiful (inside and out!), and the Eucharist was beautiful. Everyone was so happy, so eager to see Pope Benedict, so in awe at the Eucharist, so in love with Christ and His Church. The Mass, as it always is, was a congregation of Christ and His entire Church; this time, all of this happened in the heart of the Church on earth, celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI with religious from all over the world! I could go on about this and explain a lot, but I am falling asleep writing this, so explanations will have to wait for another time.
|Pope Benedict XVI !!!|
After Mass, we started walking back to the bus station. So did most of the other priests and religious there. The streets were full of priests and religious! Everywhere I looked, there were many priests, seminarians, and sisters! I felt like I was walking around the streets of heaven!
I was so happy. I still am! What an incredible, generous gift from God! Wow. I'm still trying to process everything.
In other, slightly-less-profound news, I made coffee for the first time in my life yesterday! AND I had to figure out how to do it all on my own. As you can see, the coffee makers here are different than in the U.S.. The Italian coffee making process had been explained to me once, but out of the physical presence of the device. Despite this, the coffee making was a success!
|Italian coffee maker|
I cannot believe how much has happened in the space of one week! I feel like I've already done everything that people told me I had to do while I was here! Jesus is setting pretty high standards for the rest of the semester...
"Much will be required of the person entrusted with much,
and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more."