He is a Beato! Loved singing the Gloria, in Latin, with my fellow Catholics. Bells ringing all over Rome!
8:33 AM After doing more grousing than a mature woman and a Christian should, I stood up, watched the chopper overhead, the stunning vista, the crowds, the placement, the choir…and I was just overwhelmed. I found myself doing the hand-to-chest thing: holy moley, look where I am! This is unbelievable; it is breathtaking, heart-aching, staggering, and I want to share it with the people I love! I want my family! I haven’t deserved this incredible privilege. I haven’t earned it. Pure gift, unearned. Holy. Moley.
7:32 AM: Okay, the Polish nuns in the grey habits and I are having a turf war. They want me to shove down until I am sitting behind a statue, so they can all sit together. Sorry, gals, I got here at 6 AM and chose this spot carefully, and Brides of Christ or no, pal of JPII or no, you’ll have to sit around me cuz I ain’t budging. But if you can give me a space heater or a shawl, I could be persuaded! Without either of those things, however, no heat, no seat! NO HEAT, NO SEAT!
6:45 AM ROME: Here I sit on the loggia, almost directly above the altar where mass will be celebrated and Pope John Paul will be proclaimed a Beato (blessed) by his successor, Pope Benedict XVI.
I arrived here following many pilgrims on foot, and was through security and making my way up four flights of stairs, arriving on the loggia as the clock struck 6am. I am here by the grace of God and the graciousness of one Knight of Malta who very kindly offered me his arm for the full ascent.
Admittedly, the skirt might have been a bad idea. The morning air, which at 4am was redolent of night jasmine and giddy excitement, has left a dew that has some nuns slipping. They were smart enough to bring tarps, though, while I, in my rush to get here, left my scarf in my room. My thin jacket, which I admit got a little sweaty in the climb, is cold. I can hear my mother in my brain, “this is how you get pneumonia…” I just wish I had worn the pedal pushers under my skirt as I had considered. Yes, I am dating myself wih that reference!
When I arrived, the square was empty but for press and tireless nuns. Now, it ia 6:45 and the square is perhaps 1/3 full of pilgrims. I really hope the sun comes out soon! Rome in the distance, in the rising mists, is gorgeous and almost surreal and ethereal. But I need a little warmth now! Pray for me that I get warm!
Meanwhile, be prepared! I am going to live-blog as much of this as I can. Check back all night and day– usually i try to post newest stuff first, ala Instapundit but am not sure how doable that is with an iPad.
And, yes, I have all of your intentions with me!