I'm not going to lie, going to Adoration and Mass at the Sydney Opera House today was by far one of the highlights of this trip! Lori and I took an adventure this morning to the SOH for Adoration provided by the Missionaries of Charity (Mother Teresa's nuns!) The sisters sang such beautiful music, and it was really amazing to be with around 200 other people (religious, locals, and pilgrims alike) to share in the divine mystery of the Eucharist in the middle of a small "black box" theater layout.
It has been an interesting week of prayer, chaos, crowds, and blessings in the ordinary. While it feels very much like walking through the streets of Chicago or another large American city (where's the culture shock? It doesn't exist!), it's still amazing to walk by random groups of people chanting "Benedetto" or "Oy Oy Oy!" or one of their national songs. Lots of free hugs, high fives, and general merriment have occurred throughout the week.
Tomorrow we head to Randwick for the big overnight. It will be challenging in many ways - one, it's a LONG walk! Secondly, as we've already experienced at the Opening Mass, the Papal Arrival, and today's Stations of the Cross, it can be hard to find a spirit of reverence and prayer in the midst of so many people. However, as I discovered in St. Mary's Cathedral last night (after going through massive security!), the peace and knowledge of Christ's passion and his presence in this crowd can be felt if one stops to listen, and to let it come inside.
I pray Our Lady of the Southern Cross keeps all of us, our fellow pilgrims, the Mississippi folks, and everyone back home safe during the next few days!