The Grotto


Red Church among the green trees
Raf and I had a fun adventure this past weekend. We visited The Grotto. I am not sure how to begin describing this place. It is very Catholic. Full of very stern, and sometimes disturbing, statues of Saints and angels. You could even buy a statue, if you are so inclined. Did you know that you can BUY holy water? I had no idea (Incidentally, when I Instagrammed this photo of the holy water my upload FAILED three times before I was successful. The Lord didn’t like me making fun of the gift shop selling His holy water.)
The Grotto

The highlight of the visit was the labyrinth. I’d always wanted to walk one and it proved to be as meditative as I’d always heard.
The Grotto

Actually, the whole place was beautiful. And, indeed, very meditative. I lost myself on the winding path that lead through the gardens and found it very relaxing. As I wandered through I felt a very calm, peaceful presence. Was it the Holy Spirit? Maybe it was.

I was reminded, again, of my connection to Catholicism. I was raised Catholic and though I don’t call myself Catholic anymore I do still feel a connection to it. Being around the symbolism makes me feel a little bit at home. I was reminded of the similarities between the ritual in Zen Buddhism and the ritual of Catholicism. A few weeks ago I visited Portland’s Japanese Gardens, which is rife with Zen symbolism. In fact, the two places were so similar that it reminds me that we are all striving for the same thing, essentially. We are all rowing the same boat.

This past week I have been thinking a lot about Buddhism’s first noble truth:  Life is suffering. Could Christians and Catholics realize this truth through the death of Christ on the cross? I wonder.

An interesting perspective

Books, Music, Art, Movies
Harry Potter Lightning

Image via Wikipedia

I am reading a really interesting blog post that presents a very good argument that the Harry Potter books are deeply rooted in the Christian faith, contrary to some of the other perspectives out there (one being that God does not exist in the stories). You can find it at the Blog Catholic and Enjoying it and the post is called More Harry. A very interesting read.

And, no, I haven’t re-found my Catholic faith. Somebody posted a link to the article on a list-serve I subscribe to.

More pope thoughts

Pope Benedictus XVI

Image via Wikipedia

The Rude Pundit has some really good commentary on the election of the new pope, and how it will further the seperation between Roman Catholicism and American Catholicism. Funny as always, but a bit more restrianed than usual.

Also, Father L, president of SCU, emailed campus yesterday saying that they were going to have a mass this week to

“to pray for the new Pope and the Church in the modern world * to ask the continued guidance of the Holy Spirit as the Church moves into this new era of papal leadership.”

I thought that was kind of an interesting statement.

I don’t know why I keep talking about the Pope. Well, maybe it’s because I’m Catholic. Not practicing, it’s more of a family heritage thing. I lost respect for the Catholic Church as an institution through the recent years. And this election really doesn’t help. I was really dissappointed that they didn’t elect someone from outside of Europe. But oh well.