Sunday, October 13, 2013
Fall Vacation Continued
I hate to do this to you two Sundays in a row, but I once again am going to astound you with my lack of knowledge regarding the Catholic faith. Please bear with me; isn’t all of life a learning process.
Earlier I was sharing stories from our fall vacation in September. On Tuesday of that week, when we checked out of the hotel and started driving, we weren’t sure where we were headed. I told the Hubby that, as usual, I had it covered. With an old Wisconsin Gazetteer, my decent sense of direction and a vague idea, I directed him to the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians at Holy Hill. Goodness, now that is a handle. I think that in general it is called simply Holy Hill.
Ok, so I researched some on the internet. The Hubby called this place a monastery, but I don’t know what qualifies a place to be a monastery. I thought it had to have monks, but this place doesn’t have them. It has friars. Not being Catholic, I don’t know the difference. In fact, to add to my confusion, these guys aren’t only friars, they are Carmelites, members of the secular order of discalced Carmelites. Now, that piqued my interest until I discovered that a Carmelite has nothing to do with caramels. They are brothers of Mount Carmel, again which I think you have to be Catholic to understand. They show their devotion to Mary by wearing a scapular. Ok, I think I’m done with that, I’ll remain a Lutheran, but I do think it is interesting. Oh, and one other thing - these guys can be married.
Whoever it is that lives and works here, they let you climb to the top of one of the bell towers. I did climb all of the 178 stairs, clinging to the railing like a baby. But this acrophobic did it, I climbed to the top. And it was worth it. What an awesome view!
As we were leaving, a young mother with her two young children were heading towards the sanctuary. The mother said to the little girl, “How can God be three persons in one? Well, your daddy is not just your daddy, but he is my husband and he is your grandma’s son, so he is three different people.” Well, that made it seem pretty simple.
"Go, then, to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples: baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And I will be with you always, to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:19-20, Good News Translation