Here in Rome the Holy Father usually has a special mass for consecrated persons on February 2nd. Since it was the middle of exams and I should have studied more this semester, I considered skipping it this year. I love Benedict XVI but I figured I was going to get stuck way in the back where it is hard to distinguish between assisting bishops and the Pope.
We get there, and there’s a line… about four people wide and circling all the way around St. Peter’s square. Slowly we circle around the square, enter the Basilica, and sit a way back on the transept.
Then, as I was beginning my rosary, one of the ushers comes up to the priest beside me and invites us 5 to come with him. He leads us up to the center, two rows closer than the news cameramen.
This section is still half empty. Over the next 10 minutes, 50 or so other legionaries are led up to these seats, some sitting right behind the concelebrants. The only problem was that I got one where the pillar of the baldacchino blocked Pope during the Eucharistic prayer.
I feel honored to have been so close to Pope Benedict on such an occasion. It is like the Gospel parable about taking the lowest seats so that the host will honor you by leading you to a better one. As we go through our renewal in the movement, we end up taking the lowest seats but humility is a grace.