June 16, 2009.
Rome made me feel "touched" by the Holy Spirit.
In Holland, I was rather sceptic and at times, sarcastic about several weird opinions of most of the previous and even the incumbent Roman Catholic popes. They do not match up with the modern day problems.
In my opinion, God's purposes but also my feelings of loving one's neighbour, do not somehow fit the church's stand on homosexuality, birth control, abortion, and many more.
However, all these things became unimportant to me when I visited Rome last June. They did not even occur to me anymore because in Rome, I experienced that there are more important things than my idea of the popes. After all, they are only men, dependent on their background, ages, social environment, and many more.
Real art is impossible without God.
In Rome, I saw God's work. It was almost too much to feel and impossible to understand, but it brought me in touch with my own image of what heaven should be like. Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Bernini, Rafael, and all those other artists, touched and guided by the hand of God.
I thought that without the great inspiration of God, the perfection in their artworks would be absolutely impossible for they are only human beings. But this is Rome!
Not even in the city guide.
Of course, all the world's famous paintings, sculptures, architectures, and churches attracted my admiring attention. But I visited also so many unknown places: the places that were less mentioned, less popular. There were so many wonderful ceilings, that invited me to lie down on my back and have a close look. I could do it for hours.
All these miracles entered straight into my soul. I was really touched by all those art works of many centuries ago.
Rome: a big city.
Rome has also an interesting but crazy daily life. Like any other big city, the traffic in Rome is overwhelming although you see there a majority of motorcycles and Vespa scooters. Of course, there was a lot of noise.
Everybody is swarming like flies, finding their way through the crowd and traffic jams. The speed and smell of those thousands of exhausters was impressive. But there was much respect for pedestrian crossings. You can safely cross, and it was rather relaxed to walk and shop around Rome.
By the way, shopping is not expensive. It's even cheaper than in The Netherlands. Also, when you have quetions, everybody (in my experience) was very friendly and helpful. That's why I thought that the Romans are less stressed than people in other big cities.
I also noticed that you can easily distinguied the tourists because of the poor taste in clothes. Indeed, Italians are very fashionable --- expensive suits and shoes, and ladies are predominantly goodlooking.
It can be rather hot and busy in the center of Rome, but the moment you enter one of those many beautiful churches, time stops immediately. The globe is no longer turning. It's like coming out of a time machine. Total silence in a cool, fresh atmosphere, and a sense of being a couple of centuries back in time. There is complete peace.
There is so much to enjoy in Rome. I know. I was there!