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9.16.2007

Faith is simple in Rome.

You climb the Holy Steps on your knees and pray.
You weep or you do not weep according to the Spirit.

You stand before the Pieta and pray.
You weep or you do not weep according to the Spirit.

You kneel before the crucifix and pray.
You weep or you do not weep according to the Spirit.

Here, it is different. You take your Bible to Starbucks. You underline verses, write in the margins, refer to your sermon notes.
Your Bible study meets you. They discuss the role of the Holy Spirit and how He lends a sense of peace to your decisions.
On the way home, you stop to fill the tank of the Accord. Your radio is playing praise songs. The emcee interrupts to talk about donations and God is Good.
The next day at work you try to share the Gospel with a coworker. You write it on a napkin during your lunch break. Afterwards, he uses it to wipe his hands from his microwaveable meal. What can you do but throw the Napkin Gospel in the trash? He agrees to join you on Sunday. You raise your hands. 'Praise God!' and smile.

You remember Rome. You remember faith being simple. You remember peace.
That was in winter. Now the Holy Steps are being photographed by tourist groups. Maybe it is not so simple. Maybe there is not so much peace.
But you remember.
And you weep.
Not from the Spirit, but like a child missing its mother. Your Mother.

Pacce. Pacce. Lord have mercy.

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