Good Sunday to you all. After a late night rain (which has been quite typical this winter. Roman veterans say this has been one of the rainiest/coldest winters Rome has seen in quite some time) the morning air here is chilly but the skies are clear.
This morning I made my way from nearby Piazza Venezia to catch a bus to the Termini train station to then hop on another bus that took me to a convent of the Missionaries of Charity (Blessed Theresa of Calcutta's sisters) for 6AM Mass. It does my soul good to practice some pastoral ministry. As I've posted before, to hear around 70 women singing pre-Mass songs of praise to Our Lady and during the Mass itself is a treat. I was also able to pass along a donation made by some folks in the U.S. and the sisters were quite happy to receive the monetary gift.
The photo below is of the chapel, taken right after Mass. The "I Thirst" written on the wall next to the crucifix is in reference, obviously, to the last words of Christ, but those words were also prominent in the mystical revelations given to Mother Theresa during her prayer. Her direct work with the poor in the slums was her response to satiate the thirst of Our Lord. The statue on the floor to the left is a life-size statue of Mother in prayer. The sister to the right in prayer is a real-life sister!I prayed the Mass of the Conversion of St. Paul, which our Holy Father granted us permission to use on this January 25th that happens to fall on a Sunday. In my homily, I spoke of how Paul's conversion, grandiose as it was, is a testament to all of us that God's grace is aplenty and available. If God can work in someone like Saul, then he can work in us! I quoted one of my favorite passages from our Constitutions:
We must be people with hope to bring. There is no failure the Lord's love cannot reverse, no humiliation he cannot exchange for blessing, no anger he cannot dissolve, no routine he cannot transfigure. All is swallowed up in victory. He has nothing but gifts to offer. It remains only for us to find how even the cross can be borne as a gift. -- Para. 118, Constitutions of the Congregation of Holy Cross.
This past week wasn't pleasant at all as I had gotten some sort of head cold and tiredness, causing me to miss the Moreau festivities at the Generalate. So, I pray this week of classes actually happens with good health! Buona domenica.