As I mentioned last week, my wife and I will be heading up to Washington, DC next month to celebrate mass with the Pope. Sure, sure, there will be 45,998 other people there too, but who is counting? The more the merrier! Didn't James Joyce once describe the Catholic Church as "Here comes everyone"?
We are equally excited about the opportunity to get away, just the two of us, for a night. This June we celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary. We are not quite sure where the years went, but our four children have filled them with wonderful joy and lasting memories. However, those same children make it a bit tough for us to have "couple time" Therefore, a prayer of thanksgiving for the Papal visit as an opportunity to recharge our relationship is certainly appropriate!
In order to be eligible for the ticket lottery, Katie and I had to agree to "prepare spiritually for the Mass" No further details were provided. So, what is a Catholic to do?
One of the other parishioners in our parish who will be making the trip did some research online and found a study guide the the Archdiocese of Washington, DC prepared to help folks prepare for the visit. It is based upon B16's most recent Encyclical, Spe Salvi. Although reading and studying such documents has become more than a devotional practice for me now that I am enrolled in our diocese's Pastoral Ministry Leadership Formation program, it is just not Katie's cup of tea. She is most certainly a woman of deep faith. However, when I embarked on the discernment process for the diaconate, she made it quite clear: "I will support you in every way that I can. I believe that you are called to be a deacon. However, I am not called to be a deacon. I do not want to be a deacon!" Church documents are not where she finds spiritual nourishment.
So we continue to search for a way for her to prepare.
Now that he has finished covering the Triduum, Rocco has started what must be a high point of his journalistic career (second only to his coverage of the death of JPII and election of Pope Benedict). Take a look over at Whispers to see what he has to say. As an added bonus, his post pointed me to a series of columns published in the Catholic Standard about the papcy. Take and read!