You walk into a sacred place filled with beauty, order, and goodness and the one thing that is obvious are countless numbers of tourist taking photos while lying on the floor to capture the magnificent ceiling, setting up their tripods, and constantly chattering about what to capture next.
This is what I gathered as we made our way to the largest space in Rome that commemorates one of the truths of the faith: Mary is the Mother of God. Saint Mary Major took my breath away as we witnessed the apex of mosaic work in the Catholic Tradition.
In honor of the one man who gave us the arms of the Church and contributed so much to the beauty and celebration of faith, a simple tomb next to the altar.
I wonder about people who take many pictures when they visit a place like Saint Mary Major. The Baroque Art that fills the space is meant to be more than just an appreciation of art. Rather, the art speaks of Truth and forces our will to enter deep into our inner life to find God speaking and loving us.
If all we do is simply take a shot so as to enjoy it later, we may miss the whole point of gazing at art with the naked eye. Christ became flesh, one like us, to dwell with us face to face and that is what the artist is trying to do. We, as Christians, have seen him, we know him, and have the gift of loving him in return – face to face.
We have the One who loved Christ and knew him like no one else who can guide us in this venture of loving the Son. To you, Mary, Mother of God … pray for us.
Tomorrow! More adventures in Rome to come ….