i, epigram
write wide, write deep

a blog of one's own

“Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.”

Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own

Search for the Sacred

It is close to sacrilege to not visit the Vatican on one's first trip to Rome. Or so I've heard. I went.

If I'm completely honest, I didn't have any expectations. The Vatican, with its museums and churches and traditions, was just an unmarked checkbox on my travel list. I don't know what to expect. Even after studying music history with all its sacred music, I didn't know what to expect from the country of the pope.

I love the Sistine Chapel with its magnificent art and the sense that you're stepping into history, but that wasn't the pinnacle of my experience. My next stop was. I walked into St. Peter's Basilica and a sacred hush fell on me.

No, I didn't have a spiritual epiphany. I'm not even sure my heart can handle two spiritual epiphanies in one vacation. No, no. That was Santorini. This was more of a sacred observation. Yes, if one could call it that.

I walking through the church and took some time to sit in one of the pews at the chapel for prayer. I realized that this city - from its very beginning to the glory of the Roman empire to the middle ages to the modern day - is searching from something. 

This travel time, I ran into an interesting quote.

Rome is the city of echoes, the city of illusions, and the city of yearning.
— Giotto di Bondone, Renaissance painter

It's true though. People yearn for something and looked for it in all the different places. They build empires, they pursue power, they indulge in pleasure overload. People are searching for something.

It's interesting how many people go into the Vatican, into the Sistine Chapel, and into St. Peter's Basilica and see only the awesome art, the magnificent structures, the profundity of history. And they miss out on one simple truth, that all of that - the entire Vatican City - is supposed to point people to God.

Human beings are searching for something. I would humbly suggest that we are, in fact, searching for the sacred, even though we struggle with the idea of not being in control. So my wish for you today is to search and find. And if you're already in the vicinity, to not miss the signs.

[Love always, T.]