Kiss me, I'm Catholic.

Friday, April 08, 2005

"We can be sure that our beloved Pope is standing today at the window of the Father’s house, that he sees us and blesses us."

At some dark hour before dawn (I think it ended up being 4:45) I went outside into the mist and cold and came to the gym, where many Christendom students were already gathered around the television. Ratzinger was giving his homily. It was wonderful, of course, and I was especially moved by a passage from the Holy Father's writings which Ratzinger quoted:

In sacrificing himself for us all, Christ gave a new meaning to suffering, opening up a new dimension, a new order: the order of love ... It is this suffering which burns and consumes evil with the flame of love and draws forth even from sin a great flowering of good.

It was awe-inspiring to see the square and streets and bridges full of people. Many had slept in the streets the night before. When the crowds began to leave, flowing over the Tiber, I remembered Dante's description of just such a sight and felt that shock of universality that is so peculiarly... Catholic. The Latin of the Mass was the main source of it though. Yesterday we had a Requiem Mass for the Holy Father in our little chapel, and today we heard those same words again. The same antiphon echoed in our tiny church and in St. Peter's Square: In paradisum...

But it was the singing of the Eastern hierarchs that got to me the most.

After it was over we went outside as the sky was beginning to lighten. The cherry trees around the school had begun to blossom three days ago, and today they are all in flower. This is what I saw:

There are some beautiful images of the last few days here.

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