Dies Domini

March 10, 2013

It's Sunday in Rome as elsewhere. But this Roman Sunday has something special. Indeed, it is two days before the conclave. Responding to the invitation of the Sacred College's Dean, many cardinals will celebrate the Eucharist in the church each one holds in Rome.

This morning I decided to go to the Saint-Louis-des-Français church, located a few steps from our residence. Its holder is Cardinal Vingt-Trois, Archbishop of Paris, whom I have never heard preaching before. All churches in Rome have a common feature: it is cold and treacherously humid inside. My sciatic nerve kept giving me friendly reminders of it throughout the Mass.  

Anyway, all the French in Rome had gathered there for this celebration. I caught sight of the rector. Ambushed near the sacristy, he was rubbing his hands perhaps due to moisture, or could it be rather the thought of a substantial collection?  

Far beyond such frivolous considerations, this celebration was marked by a beautiful liturgical sobriety. It allowed me experience union with a living Christian community. The hymns, the liturgical texts for this Fourth Sunday of Lent, and above all Cardinal Vingt-Trois' homily-everything contributed to make me relive the joy I experienced during my ordination to the diaconate, being exactly twelve years ago today.
 
When the celebration ended, the whole community came together in a joyful cacophony on the piazza and headed towards the cloister for a light snack. All generations were present, parents with their many children, passing visitors, journalists, all were happy and joyful, and enjoyed the warmth of the sun who had cared to make an appearance.  
As for myself, I have free time since my cardinal was invited to the Maronites. So it is lunch in the dining room and ... siesta!  

This is the Lord's Day.

Richard Saint-Louis, d.p. 


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