Each morning, at 7am, I would begin my prayer practice in a different church.
I continued to contemplate a verse from the 91st psalm as suggested by Emmet Fox as a powerful source of inspiration and comfort. After a time of stillness and with new eyes, I would explore the church, light a candle, leave an offering and exit. Intuitively, turning right or left, I could almost immediately enter another beautiful church. I strolled leisurely through Rome without a guidebook or map, only Fox’s, The Secret Place. Time seemed to evaporate. I even forgot to eat!
Churches were everywhere. Some built next door to one another. I had only known the Vatican. Now there were hundreds available, each one unique, usually empty and waiting for me. Every moment brought me a feeling of joy, discovery and a sense of renewal. The interiors with their frescoes, paintings, and sculpture were extraordinary; the grandeur of the architecture was awe-inspiring.
For several days, I had been contemplating the passage: “For He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.”
The following morning, I was to meet a friend in front of San Carlo ai Catinari. The large church’s façade and steps were completely covered with scaffolding. Since I was early for our meeting, I thought that I had time to peek inside. I pushed on the door and I found that it was unlocked. The interior was very dark; however, I was compelled to go in. I was moving slowly toward the main altar, when a ray of light caught my eye and drew me to one of the chapels on the right side of the church. As I turned and looked up, I felt enveloped and lifted into the atmosphere. A profound sense of well-being came over me. All around me were hundreds of angels. Sunlight streamed down highlighting the beautifully carved marble angels that were flying, sitting and reclining. A winged dove of peace topped the cupola.
It was here that I caught a glimpse of the Infinite. I had come home to my Self. I thought of all of the various teachings saying that we are surrounded at all times by angels. I had never believed any of it. However, in this moment, it all made sense to me that the angels were the divine ideas and the impulses that guide, lead and direct. I had previously been unaware and it was only now, with an open heart, that I could experience this truth. Nine months later, I understood the profound nature of my spiritual pilgrimage. It truly had been a sacred journey that had begun long before standing in the Chapel of Divine Providence in Rome. I realized that I am always guided, directed, and protected when I seek the stillness within my own Creative Center. It is here that I can rest and know the goodness of life.
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