Today began with great expectations of finding our way back to Rome Bapt Church. We had moved to a different part of Rome last weekend and had not yet learned how to get to church via bus/metro. But this week, we were ready and had our bus route all written out with a map of how to walk to church once we got off the bus! So off we went feeling so sure of our day. We would go to church, walk back to Spanish Steps, have lunch someplace new and head home where we would rest a while then head out to go to mass at 5 at St Peters Basilica. After all we are in Rome and we have to at least try to see the Pope!
Well, bus #881 was just a few min late in getting to our bus stop but we were proud as peacocks because we have learned that happens so we had given ourselves plenty of time for late buses. No problem…we get bus #92 and hop off after 9 stops and proceed to walk over to bus stop #2 where our little bus app tells us to jump on bus #881 We look at the bus stop name and its not what is on our little bus map. Randy says he bets that the bus stop that is on the street across the way must be the bus stop we need, so off we go walking across two streets to hopefully catch bus #881! We made it across and open our app to see when it is scheduled to come. It says one hour! We dont have an hour! We only have 30 min before church starts. So we look at each other and say “lets walk back over to the other bus stop and see if any of those schedules say they will get us close to any of the bus stations we are familiar with”! So we go walking across the street back to where the bus let us off! After looking at all 4 bus routes at this stop we decide that if we take bus #916 it will get us close. So we wait and wait and wait. Apparently if had just been there when we had walked across the street. So 30 min later we take our “tired of standing feet” onto bus 916. We ride to a bus stop we are familiar with and get off thinking we are close to the church. We get off and “refresh” our location on our Italian google phone only to find out we are still 2 miles from church. It is now 11 and we have missed church so we start walking. We now are hot, tired and hungry. We walk by a church when Randy says “lets at least go inside, and can sit and cool off all the while get to experience an Italian mass! So we proceed to walk in. Words cannot describe the beauty of this neighborhood church. We were both just in awe of what we saw. For Some reason i thought of Susie Hawkins and the class she had taught us of women in centuries past that was used of God for His purpose. The paintings in this church were just truly beautiful, Some of women, others of Jesus and saints! Maybe women that were significant in the Catholic church but the gold was breathtaking.
As we sat there for a few minutes before the Priest closed the service i could not help but notice the reverence of the congregation. The wonderful pipe organ music was so elegant and melodious! Had not heard music like that in so long! Also how everyone was dressed. There were no bare shoulders, no shorts, no short dresses! The men and young boys were dressed in suits. Out of maybe 300-400 people i was the only one in capris. Ladies wore dresses or pant suits. Some wore hats and gloves but everyone was dressed so lovely and smart that it made me once again stop and think about America and how lax we have become in teaching our kids honor and respect for God and His church. Yes i know that our religions do not agree in so many ways theologically, but i loved the reverence that was in that church today. Many children were there but not one ran around the church. The families hugged other families. They stood around and visited with others and the feeling of closeness was felt!
We walked out talking about how good it was to just sit in quiet reverence and pray and realized that God was honored there today. Maybe not in the same way we were expecting but we knew we had been in the house of God. We left with a sense of wondering if maybe, we tend to forget sometimes in our modern churches that we have focused so much on grace and forgiveness, that we have forgotten to also practice reverence for God and worship Him in Holiness and respect.
The pictures you see here are of this beautiful neighborhood church which is not even listed in churches you should see when in Rome. So you can imagine if this one is not listed what the ones listed will look like!
Apparently The Lord felt like we needed a little pick me up after getting so frustrated today at the bus schedules that we just could not make work today so he gave us this:
We found Old El Paso chips, flour tortillas, old El Paso salsa and refried beans. God is good all the time! All the time God is Good!
Catholic churches and chips! We thank God for the big and the small blessings!