Just another day in paradise :D

So, funny things happen in different countries when you’re not used to the culture. Like, a strike in the public transportation arena.  So, class in Rome was moved to today and everything’s been shifting around, but working out perfectly 😀
This morning was beautiful. The weather is cooling off, and there’s a full moon, and we had an awesome bonfire last night, and I went shopping down the street and got super cute (and cheap :D) clothes, and there’s nutella on my shelf and green tea during theology class…only a small amount of the things that help to put me in a good mood.
Today, during our tour, we went to the church of St. Cecilia in Trastevere.  I can’t explain why, but I felt connected and attracted to St. Cecilia and deeply touched by her witness.  Something that Dr. Connell explained to us (which connects to my good mood :D) is the reason St, Cecilia is depicted with an organ in art and is the patroness of music.  There was a Latin inscription (maybe on her tomb?) that mentioned something about “organum…musicam” and it actually meant that her heart sang, but they thought that it had to do with her actually playing the organ. So, there you go.  But I think it’s really beautiful to think about her heart singing…there are so many times when the only way to describe how you feel is that your heart is singing, and to think of a Saint who is distinguished like that is beautiful.  She must have had contagious joy and peace – I mean, she converted one of the soldiers/guards/executioners by her witness.  Some things speak louder than words and are deeper than any philosophical or theological argument.  We ought not limit God to having made us so cerebral and rational that we cannot admit a mysterious connection and influence between people.  Also, if you’re not aware of the story of St. Cecilia, it’s pretty awesome. And I LOVE the statue of her body in death…it’s sculpted the way it was found when she was exhumed around 1599 (incorrupt!).  And she died in witness to the One God in Three Persons after they tried to smother her and behead her (it took three tries and even then, she bled to death…I believe after three days of suffering – such beautiful parallels there in her martyrdom.)
Today was so packed and wondrous – I still can’t get over how beautiful every street is and how captivating and exciting even the smallest side street and little cultural custom is.  As Margaret keeps repeating – we are so lucky to be here.  If you ever had any doubts about whether or not you want to go abroad – seize the opportunity! It is seriously something that you will not regret.
I also saw an Incorruptible today! It was Blessed Anna Maria Taigi – Dr. Connell said she was a mother and housewife known for her kindness. Her face looked so peaceful…but I’m not gonna lie, it was kinda eerie, but serenely beautiful.
We also went to a church built in the 700’s which housed the room where St. Benedict slept when he studied in Rome (and where he also decided to drop out because he didn’t want to compromise his morals.)
It is so amazing to be able to go to these different sites and, just like it’s no big deal, pray in front of the room where a Saint slept, and then walk on the streets where he followed God in his vocation.
In the Parrocchia San Francesco a Ripa, the sacristan took us upstairs to a room where St. Francis stayed three times when he was trying to get his rule approved for his order.  He refused to use a pillow and we saw the rock where he laid his head.  ALSO, there was this magical reliquary behind the altar.  I believe the sacristan said that this mechanism was made in the 15- or 1600’s.  Basically, two of the paintings on the side of the altar swing forward, then there’s a crank and it turns all of the facade in different ways to reveal 30 some relics of saints.  It was breathtaking.
The devotion to St. Francis here is amazing and inspiring.  He definitely wants to teach us all (or at least me) something during this trip! His feast day is tomorrow, so the church also had a wonderful FREE concert tonight with a lovely organist and soprano.  So we just took the bus in, popped into a centuries-old church, listened to a glorious musical gift to St. Francis to celebrate his transito (death from this life into the next), and then got gelato on the way back. It’s kinda magical ^_^ And somehow, my heart is not bursting with joy and thanksgiving!
Well, tomorrow we’re off to the NAC ordinations to the transitional deaconate in St. Peter’s, so I should get some sleep.
Until next time (and always, actually), may the Lord bless you and keep you, and make His Face shine upon you. ❤

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