Wednesday, January 23, 2013

conduits of peace

My little sister once took my arms in both her hands; she wrapped my arms around her body, and squeezed.
It's easy to be strong when you're surrounded by support and enveloped by love.

As I walked into Brompton Oratory, I felt a wave of Something wash over me.
As I walked to the middle of the church, slowly, taking in each sight, gingerly picking up each foot and putting it down, preventing any sound from my boots striking the tile floor, I took a deep breath.

I found myself right in the middle, under the cavernous dome.
It was like someone had copied the sky in stone, and set it on top of the church.
A tingle ran through my entire being, and I felt an old electric spark reignite:


the whole church felt just like that hug. 
A huge hug--an inundation of love-- that just sweeps you up and makes you feel so small. 
Small in a good way.
 Like when you're wrapped up in a giant bear hug. 
 The light was streaming in through the windows, brilliantly illuminating all the gold in St. Peters. 
The gilded dust specks dancing in the light were flying up towards the sky that peeped through the windows, just like thousands of souls flying towards their maker.


I have been spoiled at Notre Dame with beautiful chapels that have become refuges.
The wave of Something that washed over me as I walked out of the cold, strange city into the warm, dusky church is called security. 
I felt absolutely secure. 
If the entire church had crumbled to bits around me, I still would have felt as serene as a baby possum.
I am spoiled to have three places all within a three minutes' walk of my dorm that I can go to cry, to explode and burst with uncontainable joy, to feel secure.
Three places where I can be at home.
And I have found a home in London, too.
An island of security in the sea of unfamiliar.

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