This morning, I felt very much full of vigor as I got up. I spent some time making sure my choir dress was perfect and unwrinkled then attended Mass at St Peter's Basilica. I must admit, that the powerful beauty and austerity of it all drew me in- so that I was almost distracted from the gravity of the matter at hand.
I ate breakfast at the inn, by myself, kindly excusing Father Rodrigo and taking a seat by a sun-filled window. My coffee was too hot and my pastry was cold but I didn't mind as there were grapes and delicious cheese. I considered sneaking a jar of olives into the conclave...oh and a tin of Turkish delight! Rodrigo, knowing my love for these foods said it seemed a rather good idea- especially if I was going to be held long. So I sent my aunt Francine out to buy those things.
That afternoon, I traveled to my titular church: Santi Apostoli, or the church of the Holy Apostles. It was the last bit of free time I'd have. Walking around calmed my nerves a bit yet when I tried to pray, a feeling of dryness came over me. Why now?
Sometimes instead of talking, there needs to be listening. God is not heard in the thunder or the earthquake but He speaks with a quiet voice. How often do I dim that quiet voice with my own musings, worries and circular thoughts? No, this was not a time to talk but to listen. The voice didn't come to me until I returned to the Piazza of St Peter. My aunt Francine was there, handing over my "secret" food items. She started fretting about my cross and biretta. Merciful goodness, I had my biretta perfectly straitened until she touched it! It was when I fixed the biretta, walked away and stood by the nearest water fountain that God told me softly, not to worry so much. He said "What are you afraid of? For this you were called."
Certainly, from time to time, it is necessary to remember that when we are doing the will of God, answering His call, that He will make a way. Worrying is quite natural, especially when facing momentous decisions or adventures but we must trust and put our best foot forward. I am ashamed to admit that before, I considered it good to run away and hide from this the same way I wanted to run away from being a cardinal many years ago. However, when laboring for the Lord, there is no hiding or running away.
We must boldly say like the prophets of old: "I am here, send me!" Sometimes things are frightening. like the prospect of being locked in a room for days with cantankerous and pompous cardinals. However, sometimes we make ourselves more afraid than we really have to be. If the Lord is on your side, who can stop you? Not even the crankiest, most pompous cardinal that is for sure! Certainly, in carrying out the Lord's will, there is no need to fear. I suppose I ought to fearlessly approach this and do it right- with His help of course.
Disclaimer: Cardinal Fratelli is not an actual cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church but a fictional character.