Fast forward to this weekend, which was marred by a battle with the flu while trying to manage crazy toddlers. Trying to find things to watch, I inevitably wandered over to Fox News and began watching pope coverage. I'll leave it to other blogs to comment on all the political ramifications of his visit. I'm just going to share some personal thoughts.
First, there was the White House ceremony, which I only caught secondhand. The best parts of that you can hear below. By Saturday afternoon, I was quite drained and found myself flipping over to see what was happening. And I remembered.
Having spent many of my formative years in Catholic School (another subject I don't really want to get into here) and thus around the Church, I had always been taken emotionally in by the whole ceremony of the Church. As I wrote in fictional form in a story that I may get around to publishing sometime this millennium:
To me, there is no more beautiful church than an old Catholic church, with the colorful carved altar loaded with a dozen statues of saints, gold inlaid bible scenes, and polished wood everywhere. Then as you look up there is a cavernous cathedral ceiling with a massive mural. The grandeur of the whole scene is altogether fitting for a place where God is present.So by Sunday, I had begun feeling there was something special going on. So I flipped over to the Mass in Yankee Stadium. Two things struck me here. First, the beauty of the Mass, which I have virtually memorized from many a week paying attention to the minutia of making things work (I was an alar boy too), was still there, and I began feeling a yearning to go back despite my excessively lapsed Catholic status. Second, the love people expressed toward Benedict reminded me of why I still have faith.
That's pretty much it. I know he'll be leaving America soon, and he will be welcomed back one day with open arms. It tells me we still have a chance.
So I will leave you with this clip I found over at Mike's America: