Sweet Sacrament, Thee we adore, o let us love You more and more!
What a day in Christian Rome.
We woke up, prayed, ate breakfast and walked down to St. Peter’s for Mass. Every Sunday there is a celebration of Mass at the Altar of the Chair. The Mass is entirely sung, celebrated in Latin with an excellent choir. The old monsignor was all fired up at the homily, “the faith, the true faith will lead you to heaven, the faith, the true faith will bring peace to the world, the faith, the true faith, shared with your friends and families and you will walk into the glory of God.”
There are few other things like an organ fugue as you process out of the the basilica to infuse the spirit with the shades of glory to go and live for God and in service to the world.
Walking out of the basilica was a bit on the nuts as some tens of thousands were packed into the square for the Angelus and talk by the Pope. How beautiful it was to see so many in the Piazza San Pietro. True, many there to see a celebrity, but that celebrity also preaches Christian truth.
Lunch was pleasant, with a short time of rest afterwards. At 4:00 I trekked off with some of the seminarians to San Andrea della Valle, the church dedicated to St. Andrew the Apostle about 15 minutes from the Vatican. It is the second largest dome in Rome and a beautiful church. The Pope was having Adoration from 5 – 6 pm and asked all the parishes of the world to do the same. Since I didn’t think entry into St. Peter’s would be possible without a ticket I thought the church dedicated to Peter’s brother would be a nice choice, what do you think.
So, a lovely Holy Hour was had. Our group certainly made the Adoro Te Devote a bit more vigorous and the pastor was very good to us. During the Holy Hour I was very moved while reading a letter from a Spiritual Directee of mine – thanks to all those who are so good to me.
After the Benediction we walked back to CIAM. The Chiesa Nuova was right on the way and visiting the tomb of St. Philip Neri is always a good idea. When we entered, a surprise!
Adoration was still going on, in fact we walked in just at the start of Vespers. True, we could not visit St. Philip Neri but to see the Lord’s clergy and many young faithful and to hear the singing of the psalms is a greater treat!
How I love Christian Rome! True, my heart aches for all the people I love and miss back home, but I do love this city and the spiritual joys it has to offer. Here there were no popes, no cardinals, no bishops, no rows of nuns in habits nor the ecclesiastically famous. But here was Jesus, His priests, His faithful, in a beautiful house dedicated to His Name, through the work and legacy of one of His saints. Such things are easily found in this great city and it has always filled my heart. I I do love the Pope and the cardinals and all the ecclesiastically famous, but I love the other as well. To breathe this air and see these colors is a leaven for the heart and mind and soul.
We had many important guests at dinner and so much fun. It was good to see Gabi Lopez and Joe Baker, two seminarians from Madison and great fun to have Fr. Jim Socias with us. After dinner a Skype chat with someone very dear to my heart and then to type.
I love you all like Jesus and miss all those back home – Jesus, ADORO TE DEVOTE.