The following article appeared on Catholic Exchange in preparation for the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter, on February 22.
Imagine two newly-weds, honeymooning in Rome, waking up early, getting decked out in wedding attire for a second time. This couple was my wife and I, preparing to make our way to St. Peter’s Square for a once-in-a-lifetime moment.
We were already tired from two intense days of touring the Eternal City. The morning was gray and rainy, and we didn’t have an umbrella. My wife only had ballet slippers to wear with her wedding gown. Her feet were wet, cold, and hurting as we tried to traverse the cobblestone roads of Vatican City. As we waited near Bernini’s famous columns to enter the hall for the weekly papal audience, the clouds opened up and a torrential storm came down. All the while, we kept in mind that we would soon be near Pope Benedict XVI. Perhaps we would get to meet him.
Leading up to our wedding, there had been other challenges, too. A close member of my family passed away, causing a delayed arrival for several members of our wedding party. My bride’s mother had a severe accident that cause a broken nose and bruised face. On top of all that, we woke up on the morning of our wedding to an ice storm. We wondered if anyone would be able to celebrate our wedding with us at all. With all of these setbacks and difficulties, it would have been easy to lose sight of the fact that God had something amazing in store for us.