In this eternal city, there is a remarkable buzz. It’s the buzz of Roman traffic- my companion here has been turned into a nervous wreck at the near misses that seem to characterize the roman style- and it is the buzz of a tourist capital.
The buzz is particularly noticeable on a Wednesday when there is a general audience with the Holy Father. Come one, come all, bring your grandmother.
We tried out for the roman rugby team today, but the places on the squad were clearly not ours. They belonged to a group of armani coiffed, quilted Italian grandmothers who clearly had the divine right to get to the front of any que. Talk about the all blacks… We witnessed four falling in a rolling maul and then getting up to shout at us like a prima donnafrom a serie a football match. Very confusing.
But they got to the front of the security line… And we had better seats!
There is something very special about being able to sit within 25meters of a celebrity and world leader and not be over-powered by his ‘power’ but impressed by his simple charisma, his absolute genuine humanity.
Pope Benedict is tired. He has lost some of the vigor that he has always had. It was never a ‘hearty’ vigour, not a golf club vigour but a power of personality that could captivate. He wasn’t as clear in his diction and by the end of the mornings work, he was tired. But he keeps on with a schedule that would exhaust me-45years his junior.
There is much speculation in Rome that he will resign. He’s made comment that the commentators and speculators have begun to use to build into another resignation rumor. I don’t think that will happen, personally.
In his catechesis, he spoke of the ‘little Pentecost’ that was necessary in every life and in every day to accomplish a faith that does.
I think he takes his role as supreme pastor to the point that he will do it until he is no longer able or until he is wakes up in heaven.
I have loved every moment of my time here in Rome. I always do.
I have accomplished what I set out to do- a stimulating conference, a visit to the Holy Father, a visit to my favorite saint-to-be, John XXIII (bringing prayers for families struggling to conceive children), shopping and gelato. Now I wish to go to family and then go home for a chance to put into practice what I have learned and seen.
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