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"Saying 'I notice you're a nerd' is like saying, 'Hey, I notice that you'd rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you'd rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?' In fact, it seems to me that most contemporary insults are pretty lame. Even 'lame' is kind of lame. Saying 'You're lame' is like saying 'You walk with a limp.' Yeah, whatever, so does 50 Cent, and he's done all right for himself."— John Green

4.16.2010

Place I Want to Visit

One thing about me which is integral to my life is my religion. I am Roman Catholic; have been my whole life. I love the Church and the traditions and celebration which goes along with it. A big part of being Catholic includes the sacraments. There are seven such sacraments: Baptism, Eucharist, Reconciliation, Confirmation, Marriage, Holy Orders and Anointing of the Sick.

Now if you aren't Catholic you probably haven't heard about most of those, and I'm not going to give you a lecture on them. The only one I am going to talk about at all is Confirmation:
Confirmation is a Catholic sacrament of mature Christian commitment and a deepening of baptismal gifts. Like Baptism and Eucharist, it is a Sacrament of Initiation for Catholics and a Sacrament of faith in God's fidelity to us.
A part of that initiation is choosing a new name for yourself, such as Jesus did with Peter and many others. This is a big deal. Usually the name is one of a Patron Saint (there are a lot to choose from). The important thing is to pick a saint you feel close to. Patron saints are chosen as special protectors or guardians over areas of life, so each has domain over something. Many times they overlap.

When I made my Confirmation I thought long and hard over it. But I was finally called to Saint Cecilia, the Patron Saint of musicians and church music:

I was very involved in choir and band my whole life. Because of this I was captivated by the fact that St. Cecilia sang to God while being killed. Even faced with death she sang his praises. Because of this I have called on her many times to guide me through difficult situations. And you can say I'm crazy but music always plays in my head when I do.

Because of this I want to go to her church Santa Cecilia in Trastevere. It is built on the site of St. Cecilia's home, and she, her husband and brother (both are also considered martyrs) are buried in the crypt within the church. Just look at how beautiful it is:

Statue of St. Cecilia's incorrupt body by Stefano Maderno (1610)
It is said her body was perfectly preserved and Maderno captured it.

Interior, looking west in the nave to the choir

East facade (1725) and tower of Santa Cecilia from the courtyard

Crypt beneath the west choir.

Needless to say I want to go there more than any other place in the world. One day I hope to make a trip to the Vatican itself. I think all Catholics should, as it is the epicenter of our religion. One day, one day I will sit in one of the pews and pray to St. Cecilia. Maybe the music will play for everyone to hear.

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