Two weeks from today, at 2:15 p.m., we should be arriving in Rome for a truly life-changing adventure. So long in the planning and dreaming~~it hardly seems real. Names that evoke an atmosphere of ancient ruins, mystic saints and medieval basilicas will become real for us: Pompeii, Naples, Assisi, Florence, Venice, San Sepulcro, Orvieto, Pisa . . .
and Rome, always Rome. Now we try our Italian and think of her as Roma, Florence as Firenze, Venice as Venezia. Visions of pasta, gelato, and cappuccino vaporize in our minds. Of course, there is the art, too. Now our minds think "Art" and images of gothic, golden-background medieval, and renaissance humanism flood to the fore. We will be overwhelmed, inundated. Already the names are a blur: besides the well-known Michelangelo, Titian, Leonardo, and Rafael, we try to recall Fra Angelico, Fra Filippo Lippi, Brunelleschi and a host that took our breath away. We have seen more Madonna and Child representations (copies on a computer screen), annunciations, depositions, and fragments of saints in golden legends than we could have contemplated. Art is a rich treasure which we will mine deeply.
Besides tantalizing the tastebuds and inspiring the eyes, I pray this sojourn will have a lasting personal, spiritual outcome. May we know more clearly why we are here and have a keener desire to be in the center of God's will.