Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Quick Thought About The Churches In Rome

We're just bout to zip off for noms, but I wanted to share this before it flew out of my head on a cloud of bubbles from my Moretti beer.

As we've visited the churches here in Rome and seen one wonderfully gorgeous integrated art piece after another - each church being a combined, interwoven, glorious piece of art with layers upon layers of beauty and meaning - I've felt that 400 or 600 or however many years ago, the artists and workers were making it just for me. The love and care that went into each piece in each church was meant to last for a long time, perhaps in the hope that it would reach the year 2011.

And it did.

Which means they made it for me.

It is a supremely humbling experience as I look at this gorgeous artwork created by people who used tools far more primitive than what is available to me and lived in a time far more dangerous and uncertain than mine. It makes me ask, as Cursillo made me ask, what have I done? What have I contributed that comes within miles of what these people did?

I think people get the wrong idea about Catholics. There's all this talk about guilt and fear and the like. That's not it at all, at least it isn't for me. For me, it's a feeling that I've been invited, courted, begged to be a member of this team, a team that's loaded with talent and skill. I get to be a part of it just because I want to be one. The question that I ask myself and one that increasingly drives what I do is this - what am I going to contribute to this team? How will I help make it better?

It's a beautiful thought and one that makes me want to be better, to be as good as I can be at everything I do. I fail, of course, sometimes the intensity falls away and the Newcastle game is on and the cat wants tuna now. Such is life. But in between those times when life's demands force me to do what I must, in those quiet moments, I think of the wonderful people I met at Cursillo and the spectacular work created just for me by men from centuries ago and I want to try harder.

I love it.

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