Having arrived in Rome after my train trip from Florence, I taxied to my hotel near the Colosseum. I had fond memories of eight years ago when, for my fiftieth birthday, I had traveled to Rome and found in my ambling about a convent, the Quattro Coronati that is a ninth century building (originally founded in the fifth century), very old obviously and humble by Roman standards. One day eight years ago, I went inside and listened to the nunns sing noon prayers. Now I realized, I had booked a simple hotel at the bottom of that hill and within minutes, walked to the convent where, at 6 pm, I had the joy of reentering the church and listening to Vespers. This was a wonderful beginning to my time in Rome.
I had the joy today (Saturday) of meeting a representative in the Pontifical Council For Promoting Unity. Dr. Kinnamon has been teaching and preaching to you in my absence about ecumenical life and our shared unity in Christ and has taken steps to connect me to those in charge of such dialogues for which I am appreciative. Who knew Baptists and Catholics were in dialogue? thanks be to God! I then walked over to St. Peter’s which was packed with pilgrims and took in the art and heft of that magnificent building. But I can truly tell you this: the power and beauty represented in that cathedral cannot come close to the beauty of genuine worship experienced in humble places like Riverside, or the convent at the top of the hill near a colloseum where Christians were martyred for their faith in Christ. Grace & Peace, ~ Pastor Bledsoe +