Photo courtesy Fox News
Though it's more of a scrapbook item now. As you have probably surmised, I attended the Papal Mass in D.C. yesterday. Yes
, my sensibilities were offended on any number of levels by the music(most especially by a reggae/tribal offertory piece and a syncopated Veni Creator Spiritus
), the concession stands, indecent or casual dress, and pep rally style cheering after the homily. However, I must say there is something indescribably moving about being in the presence of the Holy Father. Il Papa! That says it all. The sense of his spiritual fatherhood really hits home when find yourself physically under his gaze, hearing words directly from his lip, receiving his blessing in person and not on a piece of paper. Besides, there was a dignity about him which transcended the liberal antics - he graciously acknowledged all the cheering before and after Mass, but he gravely remained seated when cheers broke out after his homily. That struck me as a subtle rebuke. Similarly, the only music which he positively acknowledged was Placido Domingo's tasteful rendition of Panis Angelicus
. Also, despite a handful of egregious exceptions, I sensed a general intention of accommodating the Pope's preference in the music selections for the Mass which was endearing despite(or perhaps because of) the pathetic ignorance and poor taste it revealed. The Holy Father seems to be biding his time, steadily working for reform but with a patience and gentleness that has caught the world off-guard and won him admiration - even a degree of filial devotion - from unexpected quarters. While this mildness chaffs my righteous inner traddy, I sense a paternal tenderness behind it that I dare not criticize. Perhaps it will even make his reforms more effective in the long run.
So it was mostly a positive experience. I especially enjoyed hearing his homily
and bringing home a commemorative metro ticket with the papal flag printed on it!