31 July 2009

I'm Back...

Greetings Everyone!

I have returned from an exhausting but very enjoyable holiday.

I was on a cruise along the Eastern Mediterranean. My flight landed in Venice, Italy which is where I boarded the ship. The ship sailed to the ports of Bari, an old town in southern Italy, to Olympia in Greece, to Izmir in Turkey where I was able to go to the ancient biblical city of Ephesus to see the House of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the tomb of Saint John the Evangelist, and then off to Istanbul, Turkey; the final stop before returning to Venice was the very scenic city of Dubrovnik in Croatia.

Over time I hope to share with you some of the Christian sights from this cruise. As many of you know, I try to adhere to Carthusian spirituality as much as I possibly can in my state in life, and Carthusian spirituality breathes with both lungs of the Church; it has a good mix of the Latin West as well as ingredients from the Christian East. It was very rewarding for me to experience the Christian East on this excursion, something I’m not often exposed to.

In addition to visiting these very exciting cities, there was also a day at sea which was relaxing but also edifying. I sailed on an Italian owned cruise line. On deck 4 of the ship was a Catholic chapel which had the Blessed Sacrament reserved in the Tabernacle. Mass was offered daily in Italian on the ship as one member of the crew was a Roman Catholic priest. The chapel was quite attractive: the Tabernacle of gold was recessed into the wall just to the right of the altar, and on both the left and rights sides of the chapel were individual icons of the apostles running the length of the walls in the chapel.

Stay tuned as I try to share many of the things I learned through tours and tour guides and from publications I purchased.