Today we went to the Colloseum, the Roman Forum, and the Borghese Gallery.
You can almost feel the rich history in each of those places. Stepping into the Colloseum was like stepping into a history book except Much more interesting and I could touch the walls and columns myself.
There were many inscriptionsand carving in the walls including 3 very simple crosses. I find it amazing that the place that used to be used to torture & kill Christians has been made almost a Memorial for those people & a place to honor the faith. Such is true for much of Rome. What was once a pagan city full of idolatry & Persecution of Christians is now the place that has almost become the Christian (or at least Catholic) home.
Next, we went to the Roman Forum. It was quite beautiful as well. I find it fascinating how the culture behind the Roman gods integrated still into the faith here in Italy. Everything seemed to have some connection to Jupiter even in Christian faith settings. I guess it would be hard (and maybe even foolish) to erase & move on from that part of their history & culture. It is not like they are worshiped as gods anymore, but rather are symbols of power, stories, or simply heritage.
For example, we went to the Borghese Museum today. In it was a magnificent sculpture by Bernini depicting the story of Apollo & Daphne. The super short version is Apollo saw Daphne & fell in "love"(I use that word loosely here), but she did not love him too so tried to run away. In order to save her from being raped, her father transformed her into a beautiful Laurel Tree. The sculpture depicts her as she is being transformed right as Apollo has reached for her. She is beautiful and he looks amazingly stunned!
The point? Don't be fooled into following lustful desires. You may be surprised what you find when you do! So the gods? Of course not real.The moral lesson to be learned? Alive & well.
I need say no more! But I will anyway. However, I don't know what to say!
The are certain things so magnificent that there is no good way to describe them. Take the Sistine chapel for example.
Overwhelming. Amazing. Beautiful. I feel I should say more on the subject but all my words fall short.
However, I will continue my previous thought on how the merge of the Roman god culture & the Christian faith. There were many statues of Roman gods in the Vatican itself. Maybe it shouldn't have, but that surprised me!
How fascinating is it that the states commemorating the Roman gods sit In the same Museum for the faith & Jesus Christ. How interesting. Again, it is a huge part of the history & culture.
Another thing: I knew the Catholics have a huge amount of respect for Mary, but our tour guide made it sound like they believe she is sinless. Very interesting & strange to me. Does anyone know what is thu official Catholic belief on that? I would love to know.
Finally, we ended our day at the Pantheon after the sun had set. It was so grand and larger than life. It was so magnificent that it almost seemed unreal. Amazing.
I finally ended my evening with one of my best friends, a croissant, and a heavenly cappuccino. What a day.