Traveling Abroad

Assisi

Assisi.  I thought Lourdes was peaceful, Assisi IS peaceful.  Even with all the tourists, and there weren’t as many as I was expecting.  Of course, we filled almost 3 hotels in Assisi with 250+ people so we took up a majority or the tourists, maybe that’s why?

The Churches, the shrines, the sunsets, the tourist shops, I wanted to but everything!  They all spoke to my heart in very unique ways.  There was something there for everyone.    Oh my goodness, trying to unpack these days and all that they contained, nearly impossible.

Day 1 – Mass at the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli (and Portiuncula), lunch in Upper Town of Assisi, and free time exploring the city.  I spent most of the afternoon on my own after a prayer time for the FOP later that week, going from shop to shop and letting my over-stimulated brain calm down and start processing and storing all the memories created.  Assisi is so safe, it was great to feel like the local you made eye contact with across the road, accidentally, isn’t going to come up to you and try and shove something in your hands.

Day 2 – Mass at the Basilica of St. Francis at the Tomb of St. Francis, with a Basilica tour following, a pilgrimage walk to a hill where Francis prayed, hence why our University is on a hill.  Then we ended the night with a Festival of Praise at San Rufino.  This was healing and revealing in so many ways personally and for so many other students.  Just to be there and witness it was a true gift.

Day 3 – Mass at Basilica of Santa Chiara, walking tour of Assisi with time to explore where St. Clare began her order and where she lived.  Got to walk through the door she snuck through when she began her life as a cloistered nun, running away from her family.  Kissed an altar that St. Francis preached from as a deacon.  Touched the walls of Churches built by St. Francis himself.  It’s not very often that we get to experience a relic as a Church, a Church that is still standing and active.

That night we said farewell to Assisi and boarded the buses the next morning for the ride back to Gaming.  On the way we experienced the first snow of the semester.  Truly magical and came back to a winter wonderland.  Came back to the last four weeks of the semester.

I have now just begun the second to last week of my college career.  Finals start at the end of this week.  I will be home in 13 days (you bet the countdown is on).  As I reflect on the last 3.5 months, I am trying to savor all that I have left, all that I have experienced and return home a better person.  Return home someone who is ready to pour out the love I have received and experienced on family and friends.

I love you all.  THANK YOU SO MUCH for supporting my journey and praying for me over that past couple of months.  They seem so long, but oh so short, now that my time here has come to an end.  As slow and fast end.  I know that doesn’t make sense, but it’s true.

See you in 13, or less, days.

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