Monday, April 27, 2009

One More Week

Dearest faithful blog followers, 

I will be returning to America in one week from today!!! I am very excited about seeing everyone and telling of my great adventures and wonderful new friends. I would like to tell you a little bit about the awesome time I had this past weekend in a little private village just outside of Florence. 

We were given the amazing opportunity to have a retreat and just an all around good time this past weekend in a little town on top of a hill in Tuscany and it was a delight. The town was ancient, with a castle, a really old church, and the house of a Baron. I will have pictures up pretty soon and you can see the sweet ancient foot and a half long pipe that I posed with (no I didn't smoke it). It was a real blessing to have a retreat here at the end of the ILS semester and I could reflect on everything I've learned here in Italy. Before I reflect, I'll tell you about the weekend. We stayed in a brick house with real fireplaces, mills, and detailed painted walls. It is where the Baron brings his friends to go for a weekend of hunting on their horses with hunting dogs, top hats, and whatnot. On day one, I met a wonderful Italian man named Enzo who lives there with his friend Daniella in a beautiful apartment with a view of the hills of Tuscany. (If anyone has seen "Under the Tuscan Sun", take the scenery in that... times 10) I really enjoyed it. I was invited up to his apartment for a glass of water. After 5 hours, 4 bottles of vino, lots of delicious chocolate, some artichoke hearts, a binocular view from the window all the members of the program, including Fr. Alfonso and Br. Nathaniel, had visited the apartment for good fellowship and conversation, and I knew how to understand and translate Italian. Enzo showed us his three BEAUTIFUL horses (cavalle) that were butterscotch colored with creme manes. They were gorgeous. That night, we all sat around the table and enjoyed a paella, homemade vino, and homemade limoncello. We all shared our gratitude about the program and much to my surprise, I ended up translating the convo into Italian for Enzo. It was a wonderful day!
Sunday, we had a mini retreat in which we meditated on Mary of Magdala's trip to the tomb of Jesus and how wonderful it is to have a great devotion to Mary, the mother of God. I urge all of you to take up a daily rosary and to increase your devotion to our blessed mother. We spoke of the need to Love, Obey and Imitate her... after all, we're supposed to imitate Christ, and how did he act towards Mary... with love, obedience and imitation. Consider Mary's charity at the wedding feast at Cana. She was a guest but she put herself in charge of making sure there was enough wine for everyone. That same charity is found in our Lord. I can't wait to tell you all about everything I learned about Catholic apologetics. Treasure your Catholic faith!!! 

I can't wait to see all of you when I get home! I'm having a party on May 23rd at 7PM @ my house. Let me know if you can make it by emailing me at I love you! May the peace of Christ be with you!!!! Ciao

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