Urbi et Orbi

The bells are still ringing here in Rome as the Holy Father has just finished his Urbi et Orbi ('To the City and to the World') blessing from the front loggia of St. Peter's Basilica. Thankfully, the roof of the NAC overlooks said locale, so apart from the inconvenience of not being able to hear much more than muffled Italian syllables, I and three of my diocesan brothers were able to receive the Apostolic Blessing from the comfort of our very own (quasi)home. Unbeknownst to many, however, even those viewing the event or listening to it on the radio received the same blessing as we did; the pope's intention for this particular blessing is to anyone hearing or seeing him throughout the entire 'city or world.' Pretty cool... and you all saved tons on airfare!

On a related note, I had the chance to head to Midnight Mass last night at the Vatican and ended up sitting pretty much right behind the Holy Father, as he was offering the Sacrifice at the main altar. Even being in the same church as the pope is pretty amazing, but the Lord really blessed our group by letting us have such amazing seats for such an amazing time in the liturgical year! Pope Benedict, who has been looking rather tired in recent days, seemed to be very lively and joyful at the Christmas Mass, which was a great thing to see. I cannot even imagine the responsibility that he must feel (and rightfully so) for his care of the universal Church. However, it was clear that the joy of the newborn Christ-child permeated even such serious concerns as the Holy Father shone forth the same 'hope' that he wrote so beautifully about in his new encyclical, Spe Salvi.

In this Christmas season, we should continue praying for our Pontifex, Benedict, whose role really is to construct the bridge between God and his people by his own faithful witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. From his example, we can all begin to live more clearly this obligation to love God absolutely, especially now as we celebrate the Incarnation of our Lord, and his coming into our historical and human world in a most humble and God-like way.

  1. gravatar

    # by Anonymous - December 29, 2007 at 3:34 PM

    Merry Christmas, Andrew!

    As beautiful as midnight mass was at Historic St. Rose in Perrysburg, I admit I would have liked to be at St. Peter's...wow...can you believe you are living this life?!

    I learn so much from reading your blog entries. Keep it up!

    Any of your family planning to visit you in Rome?

    Deb H. of B.G.