Praying with the Saints–Literally

     I had a day to myself (thank you, Ron!) and so I made a pilgrimage into Rome to see St. Monica who is buried in the Basilica of St. Augustine. It was All Souls Day and I could not think of a better person to pray with me for all the souls I love so much.
    But in classic Roman fashion, the basilica was closed, with no posted hours.
    So I quickly found my way to Chiesa Nuova, rebuilt by Philip Neri and the site where he is buried. I sat and prayed for a long time and found great consolation in thinking of him and being reminded to remain joyful and lighthearted. As he said, “Cheerfulness strengthens the heart and helps us to persevere. A servant of God ought always to be in good spirits. Charity and cheerfulness, or charity and humility, should be our motto.”
    Ron and the kids decided at the last minute to come into Rome for an evening Mass, and then out to dinner in Rome. On the subway home, we commented that instead of going to Mass at St. Monica’s (the parish in Dallas), we went to St. Monica’s (where she is buried). But since that church was closed, we casually dropped by Philip Neri’s instead and paid him a long visit. Such a wild opportunity to be here and pray with the saints, literally!