Often I have said that I have no happier place on earth than Hawaii and no more place more peaceful than Assisi, by which I mean, more specifically, the tomb of San Francesco. To spend time there in prayer is an experience unlike any other and one that is tremendously difficult to express in words.
Thanks be to God, when words fail music can often express the sentiments of our hearts that our mouths cannot.
My fellow students and I at the Academia Lingua Italiana Assisi were treated this morning to a musical concert in the place of our normal morning session. It was there that my ears heard what may be the most moving piece of music I have ever heard. It was Flamini's "Nella Tomba di San Francesco":
The piece beautifully expresses not only the life of the Poverello, but also the experiences of one who prays at his tomb - or at least what is always my experience - what might be best expressed as a joyful melancholy. To spend time in his presence is to know the joy of the Cross, and to experience again the continuing call to embrace the Cross with joy.