It was like a dream. Easter morning, awakening in Rome, leaping out of bed to get dressed for Easter mass at the Vatican. Heading out the door, my girlfriends and I made a pit stop at our favorite cappuccino spot and began the half hour trek down the cobblestone road. As we took in the beauty of the city all around us, rain began to pour down. My friend, Courtney, generously shared her umbrella with me, and we begin to play like children on this magical Easter day.
As we approach the Vatican, I begin to feel a sense of enchantment. As if we were approaching the Wizard of Oz; in essence, the presence that Pope Francis has inspired.
The variety of people attending mass had the most impact on me, personally. Some pushed through the lines while others gently moved forward. Some ignored the fact that their umbrellas were poking each person they passed while others mindfully included their neighbors next to them. And some were so present and carefree that their loving vibration became instantly contagious. I was fortunate to be in a spot that allowed me to witness the contrast and be a part of the whole experience.
Directly around me, as if it were a circle, I connected with my girlfriends, two beautiful couples, and a group of study abroad students, all supporting each other in the experience. It was an incredibly sacred circle. And then there was the woman that half way through mass, pushed her way in front of us and held her umbrella at the eye length of others, which at one point actually ran across my entire cheek. Although quite frustrated, I chose to send her love and focus my energy on the experience. In that moment, I realized that the physical world around me was quite miserable.
My body was completely drenched, frozen in place and doing its best to dodge an umbrella. Regardless of what was happening around me, our circle of light transformed the dark. I pulled my rosary beads out of my pocket, went into prayer with Pope Francis, and embraced the connection of the amazing people around me. I felt my body let go of the discomfort and felt the strength of the light within and all around me. Time froze. Peace, love and simplicity, the message of St. Francis, prevailed. My heart felt full. As mass came to a close, I thanked the woman beside me who didn’t care if I left with two eyes, I chose to care for my own eyes and for her as well.
Each and every action we take affects the whole. We often feel that we are alone, that some choices are insignificant or that we cannot make a difference in the world. None of which are true. Each and every choice makes up the exact moment that we are in right now. Where do you choose to create from? The Light or The Dark?