Wednesday, August 11, 2021

A Trip to Washington D.C.

It's unusual for me to be out and about and far from home, given I'm a homebody. But what a delight for me to visit Max in his new home in DC and see some of the sights. I was originally planning to go in the fall, when it's not crowded with tourists but Dagny wanted to visit before she started school at Ave Maria, so we planned a short trip right after her return from Ecuador. And thanks be to God, she made it home in time. We stayed in Chinatown and it was a quick bus-ride to Max's place. And what a beautiful home, filled with good books, gorgeous art, and delicious food. We got off the bus and we simply let our noses guide us to the right home. Lamb vindaloo was simmering on the stove. Another friend who was visiting prepared a mint chutney. Max, upon his return home from work, made mango lassi. I contributed the cardamom. Max is so blessed to be right in the center of one of the best communities of faithful Catholics and it was a great joy for me to spend some time with them, getting to know them. It reminded me of the poem by Hillaire Belloc:

Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine,
There’s always laughter and good red wine.
At least I’ve always found it so.
Benedicamus Domino!

There was sight-seeing along the National Mall. Really enjoyed visiting the National Gallery of Art. Pictures of paintings don't do justice but the still-lifes and sculptures were decent; I could practically smell the magnolia. The cemetery behind Max's home was peaceful and the beautiful church just a block away from our hotel, St. Mary Mother of God, became my home away from home where we could hear daily Latin Mass.

But it's the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception that left me overwhelmed with gratitude and holy tears. I can die happy after partaking of such immense beauty. I am so happy Max lives close by. When he interned the first year in DC, he lived right across the Basilica in the dormitory pictured below. Truly, the Catholic Church is universal. What a pity that the Solemn Pontifical Mass scheduled there for the Feast of the Assumption was cancelled by Ap. Wilton Gregory. It is unbelievably cruel. Only God can save us from our bad bishops.    

I have one last shrine to share: Pope St. John Paul II. The mosaics are all so luminous because he gave us the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary. It's still a work in progress. These days, we need Light! I read a beautiful reflection on this trip, the essence being that we need the Good for our bodies, Truth for our minds, and Beauty for our souls.

Whew! That's all folks. Now it's time for me to practice music for the Feast of the Assumption of Mary. Our pastor said that in the spirit of Custodes Tradionis we shall celebrate with a Solemn High Mass followed by a potluck! Deo gratias! 


Mirka Breen said...

***LOVE*** the photos. Glad to hear the National Gallery is open to visitors again.
DC hasn't seen me in forty years :o and hasn't seen my kiddos--- ever. Every American should try and visit if possible.

Vijaya said...

Thank you Mirka. It was my first time and I only saw a fraction. We'll definitely plan more trips now that Max is living there. Makes it all worthwhile.

Carol Soisson said...

What wonderful photos! Love to see pictures of your kids.

It's true that there is an enormous amount to see in DC. I spent several days on a bus tour there once and didn't scratch the surface. The Basilica is gorgeous and the image of Jesus at the front behind the altar is striking, especially if you stand right underneath it.

Vijaya said...

This blog is becoming a better archive of my kids than even my photo album :) I've lost quite a few pictures due to computers and even our external drives crashing. But it reminds me to get some prints.

Oh yes! Standing under the cupola is amazing. I wish I'd thought to make a little video as I turned around. I also loved all the panels of the rosary behind the Altar. Truly, the entire experience is so prayerful. And the crypt!