The highlight of Pope John Paul II’s visit to Chicago in October 1979 was a three-hour Mass in Grant Park, attended by an estimated 200,000 people. (Photo courtesy AP / Wide World)
I must say sorry for this being so late, but I was captivated most of the weekend and days following by so much going in that I hadn’t had a chance to put this to the pen, or in this case, to the fingertips.
I was blessed in so many ways, on that warm October 5th day in 1979. I was 12 years old and all the Catholic Schools were given the day off to attend the mass in Grant Park. My mother took me and my brother on the train to make sure we had the chance to see the Pope. We waited on the parade route with so many people. I had never seen so many people before. As we waited for the motorcade I began to walk up the street where the crowd was thin. As I made my way through the people to get closer to the curb, now, Blessed Pope John Paul II was heading our way. I stood in awe as his car slowed to a snails pace and he blessed all standing on the side of the street. I’m sure everyone in that huge crowd of people could say the same thing, but I know in my heart, as I stood there, he looked directly at me and blessed me and the people around me. I was emptied of every ill feeling in the world in that split second and felt a joy and love I had never felt in my life. From that day on, I loved him so dearly. To see his photo or hear him speak on television always brought a smile to my face. And in every way today, continues to have the same effect on me. He was and will always be “Papa” to me. Great will be his title.
When I think of that day now, I know in my heart, I have him to thank for putting in the good word.
I have to admit lately its as if I have such a zeal to spread the Gospel, and share everything in regards to my faith that I have been in a slump thinking no one cares to hear what I or others have to say anymore. But I continue day after day, putting words on this blog, seeing for myself that every second I am here in exile, our LORD is with us. In all my actions, my thoughts and very specifically in the souls placed in my life. I can’t justify in any way, ever stopping the spread of the message and placing my pondering in this blog and elsewhere.
For a very long time now, even before the start of this blog, I wrestled with an overpowering thought of “You can talk to them until your blue in the face”. It has been on my mind for many many years. Granted, more times then not, I do but the result is not as you would think. Speaking until your blue in the face does not necessarily mean your talking to a brick wall, or that no one cares or is listening. It only now to me, means, talking until I am blue in the face, or, until I am dead. Never giving up until our LORD takes me home.
A few weeks ago, I started sitting closer to the altar so I could see the Priest break the body of our LORD. Yesterday at Mass, I was given the grace of not being able to see, but to hear. Although I was sitting very close, close enough to see, there was a post in my view and when I moved, there was a photo of our Holy Mother holding The Child Jesus.
For some reason, He allowed me to hear the fraction in such a way, it echoed through the cathedral and seemed as if it would never stop. The priest microphone was positioned just right, it picked up every note of the song being played by the consecration of His body. It was the most beautiful song I have ever heard. It had been quite some time since I had heard it played in such a way.