There is no place like home.
I love to travel but always feel better once I am back at my own house and in my own bed. Perhaps because it is the long journey back that seals the sentiment for me. A 10-hour plane ride in economy class is not a picnic. In addition, my mind, nervous system, and digestive tract take days to reach equilibrium due to the 7-hour hour time difference. I find it is always more difficult to adjust on the trip home rather than going there. Going I am excited. Coming home– I am exhausted. But this trip is definitely easier and quicker crossing the ocean by plane than by ship! With all of the focus on the Titanic these days, I am much more content with a 10-hour plane ride. I also know that I could end up in Timbuktu in a 10-hour car trip from Chicago. Its mind-boggling these days to know that it is possible to wake up in Rome and by evening to be back in my own bed in Chicago.
But I do I like Rome.
It’s by far my favorite place to visit. And this is not an exaggeration. I have shared in my past blog that I love meandering around the streets of Rome and popping into the old Churches in each of the piazzas. I also reiterate that Rome has a way of making the mind think of history. The city is in a time warp where one can still see very old ruins of a thriving civilization.
If only the walls could talk.
Think about what the walls have witnessed through the centuries! I often ponder how buildings can outlive people and generations. It is interesting how archeologists can look at a crack or a fragment of pottery and try to recreate what might have happened in a particular place. I am always intrigued to figure out how ordinary people lived. The buildings and in particular the Churches form the backdrop of their activities. Granted, a building can crumble and fall, but the Churches provide a touch with eternity. It is through the places of worship while on this earth that we can feel an interconnection with those Saints who have passed on to Heaven. We can also learn from the faults of the sinners. The Churches are the places where the people were baptized, married, worshipped, fellowshipped, and prepared for heaven. No wonder they are at the center of every piazza.
Back home on Divine Mercy Sunday
I arrive home on Divine Mercy Sunday. This is a solemnity that is observed in the Catholic Church the Sunday after Easter. It began under Blessed John Paul II as a devotion as requested by Jesus to St. Maria Faustina Kowalska of Poland. According to Blessed John Paul II: Jesus said to Sr. Faustina one day: ‘Humanity will never find peace until it turns with trust to Divine Mercy.’ Divine Mercy! This is the Easter gift that the Church receives from the risen Christ and offers to humanity. Basically the Church emphasizes Jesus’ mercy on this day for even the most hardened sinners.
According to the website for the Sanctuary of the Divine Mercy in Chicago:
The message of The Divine Mercy is simple.
It is that God loves us – all of us.
And, he wants us to recognize that His mercy
is greater than our sins, so that we will call
upon Him with trust, receive His mercy,
and let it flow through us to others.
Thus, all will come to share His joy.
A historical building in Chicago
With all of my meanderings in Rome, I should also mention that there are historical treasures closer to home. Chicago has its own Sanctuary of the Divine Mercy which was designated as such by Cardinal Francis George in 2007. The Sanctuary is located at St. Stanislaus Kostka parish. I have featured this parish on the other pages of my blog as it is currently undergoing extensive renovation. It is not only a spiritual treasure but a historical treasure in Chicago formed in 1867. Please feel free to browse to my blog and the internet to find out more information about this parish which is in need of prayers and financial assistance.