4/15-4/20 What an awesome week it’s been! Pope Benedict has effectively radiated Christ our Hope to the United States. I’d like to recount my experience of seeing him and share some of my thoughts.
Last Thursday, my whole family was at the Papal Mass at Nationals Park. My dad sung in the choir, my sister covered it for the Arlington paper, and my personal request for tickets got myself, my mother and my nurse in.
The three of us had to wait a while for the wheelchair accessible shuttle to take us from RFK Stadium to Nats Park. We arrived there at the last minute! Secret Service guys let us enter as the Holy Father processed into the Stadium–and we got to see him! The Holy Father with red vestments and golden cross right in my line of sight…it seemed as if i was dreaming. After showing a volunteer our tickets, he got us deeper into the right section–but perhaps not the exact row, which i think would have been even closer! But we were pretty close and could see him at the altar! I was looking at him with joy to overflowing. I kept switching views–up-close, on screen, up-close, on screen…
At the Recessional i wanted to meet him–but the aisle quickly walled up with onlookers standing on chairs. I saw part of his face! Then some dude on a chair was like “quick everybody to the other side!” Oh well. I was just happy to be there THAT close!
That day really was a pilgrimage!
The Pope was so well received from beginning to end. It seemed that all of America took note of him–with much respect! In his first speech and his last he pronounced “God bless America!” And what great speeches and homilies he gave throughout the visit! They can all be read here. Messages of hope.
Hope is what those 6 abuse victims came away with. It was hope that he left the 50 handicapped children and their caretakers. I saw (on TV) hope for the future at the event with 25,000 young people and seminarians. Hope and comfort received by the families of 9/11 victims. Pope Benedict brought hope at every step of his visit to our country, the USA–seemingly a hopeless case! Christ Our Hope was brought to us in the person of His Vicar!
What a blessing!