Adjusting to Rome; Beauty of the Church

by Steve Ray on September 4, 2009

It is HOT and HUMID. It is taking some time to adjust. But it is great to be in Rome any time of year. Last night we had dinner with Fr. Alfonso Aguilar LC who is a great friend.

Tonight we have dinner with Teresa Tomeo and her husband Dominic. We’ve Fr. Alfonso to join us again.

screen-capture-1Janet and I have been exercising, exploring, preparing for two pilgrimages here in May, going to daily Mass, visiting, writing the Corinthians study for CSS, and cooking. I will try to post some videos and pictures soon.

While sitting in the beautiful church last evening for Mass — Santa Maria alle Fornaci — I asked myself: “What does God think of such magnificent churches? What did he expect “the church” to be and look like after 2,000 years?”

In admiring these massive shrines to God, and the reverent Masses celebrated within, I saw the intended fulfillment of God’s expectations and the appropriate and intended response of holy men and women. These churches and the thriving liturgy within are one way we have demonstrated our love and devotion for the majestic worthiness of God and to express our love and appreciation for his grace and works among men. I think God smiles on our beautiful, yet humble response to his love.

Of course the Church looks different today than it did 2,000 years ago, just like I look different than in my baby pictures. But I was intended to grow and develop (if I had stayed an infant over the years my mother would have rushed me to the doctor!). So the Church was intended to grow organically and develop and spread over the face of the earth (Matt 13:31-32; Matt 28:19-20; Acts 1:8).

Having said that, I can’t wait to go to Mass with Janet again today, to another beautiful church — there are only 800+ to choose from in Rome!

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