Last night I was planning to come to the computer lab after our Wednesday night Women's Scripture Group and post the next segment of my series of posts about Rome. And then it happened. A few minutes after 7pm, when we were all socializing at the TOR sisters' house, Meredith ran in and shouted "Habemus papam!" You can imagine what sound came next - a LOT of VERY LOUD screaming. Even I was screaming...and I am not typically a screamer.
When we heard the news my heart was filled with joy! A friend and I snuck upstairs to the sisters' chapel while the sisters hooked up their computer to the EWTN live streaming of Vatican Square. I begged the Lord to pour His grace down upon our new Holy Father. When I went back downstairs there were about fifteen women hovering around the computer screen, which was perched on a coffee table in the middle of the sisters' living room. We sang a song of thanksgiving together and then spent the next fourty-five minutes or so in an agony of suspense. It was so exciting!!!
When we saw the curtains in the balcony window move we screamed. And then shhhhshed each other. I'm sure that most (if not all) of you who are reading this have seen the footage and know what happened next. The cardinal came onto the balcony and announced that we have a pope! It was a thrilling moment (not quite as thrilling as it would have been if I had been in Vatican City...but thrilling nonetheless). When he said the name of the new pope, none of us knew who he was, but as soon as we saw him, we fell in love. :)
What a humble man. He asked the Church to pray for the Lord to bless him before he gave us his first blessing as our pope. The silence in that moment was so rich and full of joy. I knew that I was united with people all over the world in calling down the Holy Spirit upon our new pope in that moment. WOW.
Then we received our second papal blessing in a month!
After the excitement of seeing Pope Francis step out onto the balcony was over, many of the students here (including myself) flocked to the chapel. An impromptu praise and worship session began, followed by a rosary for Pope Francis. My heart was full of joy, of thanksgiving, but my head was spinning.
All I have to say is that God really loves my roommate. It was her birthday yesterday, and do you know what she asked for?
And she got one.