August 27, 2007

Pilgrimage: Basilica of St. Francis

Today we had our official tour of the basilica of St. Francis, though most of us had already explored it on our own. It was good to have a solid introduction, though, so we could know what to look for.

Afterwards, having heard from some the brothers that there is a friendly, English speaking confessor, I try to go to confession. Of course, I don’t get him. I get the impatient Italian who insists that I don’t wait for someone else. He doesn’t speak Spanish or English, and I don’t speak Italian. Nevertheless, he prods me to get going. Not knowing what do to, I confess in a combination of Latin and Spanish. The priest gets a little annoyed. Nevertheless, I’m grateful. It’s a chance to believe in the presence of grace in even the most awkward human moments, given our right hope and good intention.


Pia said...

Did they point out the "Madonna dell'Autostop" (the hitchiking madonna)?

I had a great friar in confession at the basilica in August of the Jubilee year. He was a roly poly italian one, with a thatch of black hair and kind eyes. He told me God loved me very, very much. I don't know if it was the atmosphere or the particular moment of my life, but those words and his voice are etched in my memory. I'm so sorry you didn't have a similar experience, especially since you really did go to a lot of effort to make yourself understood!

antonina said...

Ah, I know just the feeling. I went to Confession once at Notre Dame in Paris...the only confessor was a young Polish priest, and I spoke neither French nor Polish. I did a mixture of Latin and Italian. It was still wonderful to go to Confession. As for the brothers at the Basilica....most of them really do speak some english, they're just sneaky about it :-) too shy, perhaps.