It's official - I'm spending Easter in bella Roma! I forgot to throw three coins in the Trevi Fountain when I was there in June, but I guess I cheated the system ;) I'll be flying into Rome the Wednesday of Holy Week and staying through Easter Monday. Being able to spend Easter in Rome was one of my deciding factors in coming to Budapest instead of Hong Kong. My friend Katherine is joining me in Rome. We actually met exactly a month ago at a Franciscan convent on a retreat, and we will be staying in a Franciscan convent near St. Peter's (thanks Fr. David!). My pastor at home (hi Fr. Ted!) hooked us up with tickets to the Celebration of the Lord's Passion and Easter Sunday Mass with Pope Benedict!! I don't want to wish time away while I'm abroad...but how am I going to make it through this month and 40 days of Lent before I can go to Rome?!
In other news, God totally owned me today while I was praying. The reading for midday prayer was from 1 Peter 1:17b-19. "Conduct yourselves reverently during your sojourn in a strange land. Realize that you were delivered, not by any diminishable sum of silver or gold, but by Christ's blood beyond all price: the blood of a spotless unblemished lamb." Oh. Snap.
I've been struggling with where to set my limits on partying and drinking since getting drunk 5 nights a week is the norm for other exchange students. I believe I just got my answer from 1 Peter. Yesterday I was at a pub (ironically called "Paris, Texas") at midnight with my roommates for pre-Super Bowl beers and there were 3 other American students there who had been drinking at the pub since 2pm. I'd rather spend my money traveling in Europe and buying rosaries in Rome than on cheap alcohol.
Tomorrow is my first day of class. I haven't had classes since before Thanksgiving! Until next time I leave you with the sage words of FTD, "be good, be holy, and love the Lord!"