Today we visited the Abbey of Montecassino. According to their website, “In 529 Saint Benedict chose this mountain to build a monastery that would host him and those monks following him on the way from Subiaco. Paganism was still present here, but he managed to turn the place into a well-structured Christian monastery where everybody could have the dignity they deserved through praying and working.”
As you can imagine, as a Lay Dominican in training, this was going to be a true highlight. Father asked me to say the readings the night before, and we celebrated the mass for Ascension Thursday, even though, in Italy, they celebrate it on Sunday. I am not sure if I mentioned it before, but we have a private mass in each city every day with our Priest and Deacon. Tiny, little Cristina read from the Acts of the Apostles, the Responsorial Psalm and Ephesians here:
Sometimes it’s more important to live in the beauty of the moment, instead of trying to capture it like a firefly in a mason jar. I read from the podium just to the right. As I read, I began to think of the moment when I called the rectory of my church while driving my boys to school in the rain and said “Please, I need to be Catholic” and then coming to the present moment. I rapidly thought of all the twists and turns I lived through in three years to get to this monastery, reading in this place. My voice began to shake and I knew I had to get it together and finish the readings for the rest of the pilgrims. I thought of my boys and my husband back home and how much I missed them. I knew instantly, I had to back away from that feeling and finish. I bowed before the altar and took my seat. Tears streaming down my face, we listened to the Gospel reading and homily. If I could even begin to explain the sound of our voices in this chapel, but I can’t. There aren’t words.
After mass, we had time to walk around the monastery for 20 minutes. I planned my time to pray for 15 minutes for those who have asked here:
I spent the last few minutes running into the shop to buy a Benedictine Cross made of olive wood for my home.
Back on the bus for lunch at a local place just behind a gas station! The food was excellent! I posted pictures on Instagram but here’s a picture of our view, with someone you may find familiar.
We hopped back on the bus and headed to our next destination, Sorrento!!! We got into our hotel and got ready for dinner. Yours truly, got old school and washed her clothes in the sink. So, I leave you with this. My view in Sorrento.
This was a less hectic day. We needed it! Chat tomorrow!!