Happy Feast of Corpus Christi!
It has been awhile since I've taken the time to write so here is where I've been...
Thursday began way to bright and early for my taste. We had breakfast at 5:15 and were on the bus by 6 so we could spend a good part of our day in Norcia! At breakfast, Sr. Sophia came to wish us a good trip and gave me a goodly bit of teasing because I was taking my pillow on the bus for a snooze on the way to Benedict's boyhood home. I assured her it was only for the good of community (Maribeth and Erin agreed). The day was cool and the fog laid low on the hills around Rome and draped the mountains like movie scenes once we started to climb higher. Mom would never looked out the windows, there seemed to be a drop off or tight squeezes as we met oncoming traffic all up and down the mountians.
Once we were at Sant' Eutizio, we all climbed off the bus to stretch our legs and peep about the church and abbey grounds that would have been part of Benedict's growing up. Maribeth and Erin crawled through the tunnel beneath the altar to St. Spez to cure their back ailments (I have the photographic proof). Since it was quite COLD, we were happy to clamber back into the bus to get to Norcia. I LOVED touring about Norcia, it felt like a small town. First we toured the San Benedetto Church and prayed in the oratory below. It amazed me that you can be where they might have lived, that the bricks of the home are still there...very cool. Somewhere between touring another church or two with Maribeth and Erin and stopping at the monk's gift shop, I lost everyone and just wandered about the streets of Norcia. I sampled hams, cheeses, visited the market, and stopped for café. For lunch, we all met at the Benedictine sisters' guest area for the best noodles with pesto that I have ever tasted! This was followed by some of the best tiramisu that I have eaten...I like Italy.
Friday (June 4th), we thought of you all and the chapter meetings often, but we were having fun as well. The morning included class with Fr. Dan McCarthy at Sant' Anselmo about churchy things and tours to give good examples. Lunch was held INSIDE Sant' Anselmo with the student monks and priests. The obligatory spagetti was followed by some perfectly done calamari with peas in a light sauce (yup, I've been enjoying the food the last few days).
Yesterday, I enjoyed visiting San Giovanni in Laterano; we were there for over three hours between the Church and the Baptistry. The beauty of the place was amazing. There were lost of nooks and crannies to sit and pray. However, we also discovered a lesson in the Italian siesta. Jesus too rests during siesta...No Mass between noon and 6PM, No Adoration between noon and 3PM, and No Holy Stair climbing from noon to 3:30PM. Hmmm...we had some rather unholy humor to explain all this time off. I'm sure Sr. Marielle's theological 'toes' were curling on your side of the ocean.
Today? Well, to celebrate the Feast of Corpus Christi, the Abbot Primate Notker Wolf will celebrate the Mass this afternoon and then stay for a Q & A session and then supper. I plan on quietly observing the questioning session and look forward to sharing supper with the Abbot. The sisters will be sure to do something marvelous for our Benedictine guest, and I hope there will be gelatto for dessert! It's better than the custard at Kopps!
In all seriousness, the past few days have been rich in prayer and meditation...There is so much to see and even more to consider as the days go by here in Rome.