Demonstrations of Grace
So many lessons learned.
So many, being learned.
Clearly, it has just begun,
As I look through the gunhole,
onto the profound moments
I was given—
Of walking the streets,
Of sitting in the churches,
At a time,
I found it such a pleasure, such a blessing not knowing what people were saying! There was such freedom alive in that for me, not having to do anything, not understanding what was unfolding.
Not knowing somehow offered me profound intimacy.
On Sunday, we wandered into my favorite church, a tiny chapel resplendent with cherubim. This church is from Roman times, with Roman pillars, initially the Temple of Minerva, Roman goddess of strategy, of wisdom, of justice. The Christians took the church and dedicated it to St. Maria. Its official name is
St. Maria sopra Minerva. (Minerva under Maria). I love that.
Layer upon layer.
We wandered into Sunday mass.
The service was stunning, simple and deep. There must have been not more than 7 of us in the pews.
Four congregants sang magnificently, the women read liturgy. Out came four men wearing clergy robes, white with green strips. One had a solid green robe, obviously a superior.
My human, Western, judgmental mind leaped right to, “Here come the old white men.”
The women choir members did most of the readings, to my relief.
Then the green-robed older man (yes, still white, still older), came to the speaking platform. I kind of shivered with potential dread.
He began to speak to the 7 of us.
I understood not one word.
It was staggeringly beautiful.
I started to weep. I looked at Ras, who looked at me, both of us, weeping, awed by the energy and the being of this man.
So much for my mind’s interpretation of the moment.
So much for my commitment to understanding.
No language could contain the power
Temple of Saint Maria sopra Minerva
Quiet and still and deep
Here is a wonderful thing, for your hearts, dear friends:
Wish I could say more to you all. But—I brought a companion home with me. Mr. Covid, which is such a bummer of a way to end a glorious trip.
Please forgive any lack of polish in this blog—I did my best with one eye open.
Blessings and love to us, all.
Give us the courage
And the strength
Stay blessed, Aruni