Our friend Marianne Servaas has been visiting from Belgium and today she and I went to the memorial Mass in St. Peter's square for the third anniversary of John Paul II's death. I think after the Easter Vigil the rest of the family is Poped out for the time being. In any case, the Mass was quite moving and very simple. . . or as simple as a Mass with 50,000 people can be. Whatever one thought of him (and I rather liked him, myself), John Paul was a larger-than-life figure and one worth remembering (and praying for, like all of us). I also always like being surrounded by the vast, diverse sea of Catholicism. Communion seemed more chaotic than usual and I was feeling pretty grumpy about that. But then I saw a young Asian man coming back from communion with tears streaming down his face. On the presumption that he wasn't crying because someone had stomped on his foot in the communion scrum, but rather in gratitude for what he had received, it made me appreciate the event despite the communion chaos.
Here's an AP photo of the event:
I've searched the faces in the crowd, and I'm pretty sure I don't appear. But I swear I was there.