Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tuesday Musings

We are born for a higher destiny than that of earth; there is a realm wherethe rainbow never fades,
where the stars will be spread before us like islands
that slumber on the ocean, and where the beings that pass before us
like shadows will stay in our presence forever.

Edward Bulwer-Lytton

This past Saturday before I entered the supermarket, I finally remembered to snap a few  photos of the church I had mentioned several weeks ago. I didn't really expect much, and it truly  amazed me that these photos came out so well...being that they came from my little cell phone.  The above photo really opened my eyes and made me rethink my concept of Mary as goddess.

I took this picture from across the street when I got off the bus. It was then that I remembered to snap some shots. The church, or basilica, is so large it is impossible to get a picture of the whole building at once.

This is a closeup of the tree. I couldn't get the entire tree in the photo, but you can see how simple yet beautiful it is decorated.

It is truly a magnificent church that opened its doors in March, 1893. According to the churches history, a copy of the icon of 'Our Lady of Perpetual Help' was brought from Rome in 1894 and enthroned in the new church. The original icon dates back nearly a thousand years.  It is known as a miraculous icon because of extraordinary grace and favors received by people who have knelt before this picture of Jesus and Mary to pray. Once I overheard a woman say, "That church is like a maze inside."  Perhaps I have found the labyrinth I have been searching for. 

Every once in awhile I happen upon a funeral that is being held there. At one time it was the funeral of a motor cycle club member.  It was something out of a movie.  Parked on the streets were hundreds of motorcycles while their riders, dressed in club attire, long hair and scruffy beards, milled around outside the church. The hearse was a slightly larger than coffin size cart drawn by a motorcycle.  

On Saturday, I hadn't known what was going on inside the church as I snapped the above photos. Another funeral was being held.  As I left the store I saw many people in front of the church, and as I got closer, I saw that someone was handing out red and white balloons, then the person handing them out said something, and everyone let go of their balloon.  All I heard was 'fly gently up to heaven,' and then everyone cheered as the balloons rose high in the sky. As I looked around, I realized this had to be the funeral of a teenager.  There were just so many adolescents milling about, many of them in tears and consoling each other.  It broke my heart and tears began to flow in my own eyes.

I thought of my own sons and how grateful I am that they are strong and healthy and will be spending the holiday with me. And then I thought of the parents of this child and the pain they must be feeling, and I prayed that they find some peace.  It also reminded me how tenuous life is and how important it is that we savor every moment we have. Death is a necessary part of life as the wheel continues to turn. I went home and called each of my sons to tell them how much I loved them.  Then, I hugged and told my hubby how much he means to me. Sometimes we assume that our loved ones know how we appreciate them. It is so important that we let them know every day how much they are loved.

Do not fear death, but welcome it, since it too comes from nature. For just as
we are young and grow old, and flourish and reach maturity, have teeth and
a beard and grey hairs, conceive, become pregnant, and bring forth new life,
and all the other natural processes that follow the seasons of our existence,
so also do we have death.
A thoughtful person will never take death lightly, impatiently, or scornfully,
but will wait for it as one of life's natural processes.

Marcus Aurelius


  1. Oh thank you for the pictures! Out of doors seems to be the best, for phone cams. The same thing happens with a friend of mine's pic. Inside, they aren't as clear, as outside. :-) Lighting probably.

    Whatever the reason, these are great pics!

    Yes, remember to TELL our family, we are happy they are around!!!


  2. What a beautiful page you have created Mary and such a beautiful church you have shared with us.
    The pictures and your own personal thought touched my heart with peace and love.

    hugs and blessings Sharon

  3. Beautiful! If it's a basilica, it means the Pope has visited it. His presence "elevates" it from mere church/cathedral status.

  4. There are some churches I'm repelled by because they don't seem to have the spiritual factor I long for but this church looks absolutely lovely. Funerals always make me breathe into the moment even when life is hard, well, when life is hardest and help me to remember the precious gift we're given of life.

  5. What a beautiful basilica Mary...your photo's are great!

    I love Mother Mary, and have for many, many years. My family (matrilineal) were Catholics, so she has been in my awareness since childhood. Within the past 10 years I've gained more knowledge of Her through study and really relate to Her.

    I tell my children and grandchildren everytime I see them that I love them, as we just don't know when our name will be called to journey Home.

    Your sharing today is very heartwarming as Sharon has already shared...

    Blessings of The Light to You!

  6. a really lovely post, beautiful church.