Sorry I bailed last week. Things got to be a little nuts around here and then I left town Thursday to see some from friends in the DC/Baltimore area. And of course no vacation is complete without a few religious insights. Unfortunately, technical and security issues prevented me from taking pictures, but here are some thoughts...
When my friend Tom lived here, we frequently attended daily Mass together, so when I visited him in DC the pattern continued, but on a slightly more extravagant level. Thursday, we toured the John Paul II Museum and then wandered down to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, just in time for Mass. The building is beautiful and that day's service was celebrated in the crypt chapel, in the basement. The ceiling was low and everyone participated so it felt like a big crowd but in an intimate setting.
Tom is now a Pentagon employee, so Friday he gave his fiancee and myself an unofficial tour, ending at the site of the 9/11 attack. A memorial is there now with the names of the deceased and a chapel was built as a place of silence and worship. At the front of the room is a stained glass window with pictures of an eagle and the building and the words: "United in Memory September, 11, 2001." It truly feels like hallowed ground, knowing that so many people died in the floors above in service to their country. Mass is held there daily, and it was comforting to see men and women come in uniform to take that time out of their day to pray.
Both services reminded me that God is everywhere - we just have to look for him.