Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Pope Benedict's Last Papal Audience

It still hasn't sunk in that I was that close to the Pope today. He was literally less than 10 feet away from where I stood as he passed by during his procession on the Popemobile.

I definitely had tears in my eyes as soon as I saw him coming down my aisle. (His route is left unknown for security purposes, so even though we were by a barricade, there wasn't a guarantee that he would come down our aisle).

If you can make out the 6 different sections in the center of the square (4 in the front, 2 long rectangles in the back), I was in the very front of the middle section on the right side, near the central aisle.

It was so incredible. It started at 10:30, so we got there by 8:30, and worked our way toward standing room in the front of that section. We were waiting for about 2 hours, but the atmosphere was so exciting that it really wasn't bad at all, plus the weather was beautiful today. I had one of the 50,000 tickets that were handed out by the Swiss Guard, but there are estimates that about 200,000 were gathered in the square today. People from everywhere in the world, and speaking what felt like every language. Chants of "Benedetto" would break out every now and then, as did, "Benedetto, sempre con noi" (Always with us).

So that was an incredible morning. And then for class in the afternoon, Msgr Irwin brought in Msgr Wadsworth of Westminster, who is the guy that was basically in charge of the new English translation of the missal- the guy who made us all say "consubstantial," and "with your Spirit." So that was really cool, he was great to listen to and it was cool to learn about the extensive translation process.

Anyway, this will probably be my last post for a couple weeks, as I'm off for Spring Break on Sunday! Next time you'll hear all about my adventures in Barcelona, Geneva, London, and Edinburgh!

"The Pope belongs to everyone, and so many people feel very close to him. It’s true that I receive letters from the world's greatest figures - from the Heads of State, religious leaders, representatives of the world of culture and so on. I also receive many letters from ordinary people who write to me simply from their heart and let me feel their affection, which is born of our being together in Christ Jesus, in the Church. These people do not write me as one might write, for example, to a prince or a great figure one does not know. They write as brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, with the sense of very affectionate family ties. Here, one can touch what the Church is – not an organization, not an association for religious or humanitarian purposes, but a living body, a community of brothers and sisters in the Body of Jesus Christ, who unites us all. To experience the Church in this way and almost be able to touch with one’s hands the power of His truth and His love, is a source of joy, in a time in which many speak of its decline."
Love, Chris

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