Although these past 12 months of "preparing" for Rome have been filled with endless advice, countless to-dos, oodles of to-don'ts, and infinite well wishes, I still am living in a cocoon of the unknown. While having both parents, 3 siblings, and many friends who have lived in Rome for an extended period of time, their stories and advice really only can take me so far on my own experience. Even though I have had to tell my family to stop talking about Rome to me a couple times these past couple months, their advice has helped to prepare me for what is to come. But back to my first paragraph, how does one truly prepare for such an intense experience? Uhhhh buuuuhhhh? That's right!
So here I am, less than 10 days to go, with all the advice in my pocket that I could possibly carry. But one of the best pieces of advice I have received sits at the bottom of my pocket all crumpled up and forgotten amidst the whirlwind of to-dos and to-don'ts: "Monica, create your own adventure." And that is exactly what I intend to do.
While I know I can't really fully prepare myself for what is to come, I hope to dive deeply into the heart of Jesus and feel the pulsing beat of His Church on earth. I will surrender my time in Rome for the Lord, and can't wait for the difficulties to sandpaper the heck out of me (sandpaper imagery is owned by my dad...gotta love papa Joe).
Oh, boy! My own adventure with the Lord! Can't wait, can't wait!!
But, I'm not stupid (and I know that's what some of you might be thinking). I realize I can't do such a task on my own. This is where I need your help. I need your prayers. I want to strip myself of everything holding me back from becoming more like Christ, but (like the Beatles sang) I gotta get by with a little help from my friends! So, as our dear friend Alyssa Bormis says, "Girlfriends, grab your rosaries!" (Or, if you're a boy, boyfriends, grab your rosaries...but, I think you get the idea). I have been praying a rosary everyday for the preparation of my heart for Rome, and I'd love nothing more for those prayers to be continued, doubled, and not only for me, but for all my other brothers and sisters going to the Eternal City with me this coming semester. No doubt, we all need them. So whether the rosary is your weapon of choice or some other form of prayer, simple prayers are really what I am after. Oh, and of course, please give me any prayers that you want me to pray for you for. I mean, I will be in a pretty holy place and surrounded by saints' bodies, walking on the same stones as martyrs, and being close to walking saints (holla at you Papa Bene!). Whatever. No big deal....Oh, but my point is, I'd love nothing more than to return the favor :)
LET THE COUNTDOWN BEGIN!
I wish I could bring you all in my suitcase, but alas, there is a 50 pound bag weight limit.
God bless you.