As a Catholic, one of the things I was looking forward to in Italy was potentially having that “feeling”, a connection or, perhaps more accurately, a reconnection to God given my poor performance in practicing what is preached. In recent years, I have had need to talk to Him a lot and while my prayers were answered (thank you!), it was a one-way conversation.
We visited the Vatican but, I honestly got almost nothing out of it in religious terms which was tremendously disappointing. The same at St Mark’s Basilica. However, this beautiful, 17th century basilica was a stone’s throw from the apartment we stayed in while in Venice and that is where my heart leapt.
It is an absolutely beautiful structure, inside and out, and we visited one afternoon. Afternoon mass was being held, and while we missed the first half, it is there that I experienced what I had been hoping for, it was powerful. My wife and I stood for the balance of the service in the back. The language was not our own but we well knew all of the important parts and participated on our own in English.
It is kind of hard to explain what I felt while there, but it was what I had been seeking and for that I am thankful. This place will always have a very special place in my heart as a result.