Have you ever been lost in a foreign country ? If so, then you can identify with the sense of panic my friend, Veronica, and I felt when we got lost at the Vatican.
Our travel bus had dropped off our group of jet-lagged pilgrims near St. Peter’s Basilica. The tour guide told us that we were free to explore the big church on our own, and instructed us to meet at the drop-off spot at 1:00 o’clock. We were far too excited to pay attention to where we had been dropped off, we only noticed that it had very tall trees.
Veronica and I spent our time in the Adoration Chapel, and when it was time to return, we stepped out into the bright sunlight, and realized, at the same time, that we didn’t know where we had been dropped-off ! We walked towards some tall trees, but that was not the spot !
Italy was still sweltering in heat at the end of September, and we were wearing warm Newfoundland clothing. Veronica, a former nurse, recognized that we were probably in the early stages of heat exhaustion, so we bought delicious gelato ice cream to cool ourselves.
Finally, a kindly gentleman noticed us, two red-faced, warmly dressed , confused women, and asked if we were lost. We explained that we didn’t know where we needed to go !
He told us that most tour buses drop passengers beside the Vatican Museums, and he showed us the way there. We arrived, just at 1:00 o’clock, sweaty and exhausted, but too proud to admit that we had been lost.
This experience made me more aware that the world can be very confusing and frightening for people who have no relationship with Jesus.
Then again, I realized that the Catholic Church does not talk about a personal relationship with the Lord.
We can see that more serious dialogue is needed on our way to achieving full Christian Unity.
Photo credit: Leo Morden, Unsplash