Monday, April 21, 2008


That's my overall reaction to attending the Papal Mass at National Stadium. Wow!

Having the opportunity to take part was a truly wonderful and uplifting experience that is almost beyond words. To celebrate Mass with the Pope--the Shepherd of my Catholic faith--and 42,000 others, most of whom share the same basic beliefs--moved me more than I had ever predicted.

Since Julie and Steve sat with our parish and Z and I were separated by one section, I experienced the entire event in an almost private, surreal way.

While the pomp and circumstance was in and of itself very interesting and somewhat overwhelming, my goal was to focus my attention on the pure presence of this very spiritual man and successor to St. Peter. I wanted to be acutely aware, especially during his homily and his praying of the Eucharistic Prayer. As an aside, I smiled during the part that says:

Lord, may this sacrifice, which has made our peace with you, advance the peace and salvation of all the world. Strengthen in faith and love your pilgrim Church on earth; your servant, Pope Benedict, our Bishop Donald, and all the bishops, with the clergy and the entire people your son has gathered here before you.

To think that he was in my midst as these words were spoken...

I wanted to be taken over by the beauty of the songs and my connection to this very special event. And I was.

As we were leaving the stadium, Julie asked me, "So, mom, did you cry at all during the mass?" She knows that I have the tendency to tear up at Mass sometimes when certain songs are sung. "From the moment I saw the Holy Father enter the stadium and pretty much throughout the entire Mass," I replied. I feel it come over me even now as I write about it.

It's amazing what can happen to you when you have a kāi xīng (open heart).



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