I remember stilling on that very same bench on another visit, but this time I was touched with memories of my mom’s last words, “Very grateful,” and overwhelmed by how present she still is through that those two simple words. My mom knew that gratitude was the way to peace, the way to God’s kingdom now and in the life to come.
She started her day with prayer and Bible reading, and thus was well versed in all the gratitude expressed in the Psalms. She read and reread Paul’s letters, which start with gratitude and thanksgiving. She embraced Jesus’ message in the Gospels through that same lens. Often, especially as she got older, she would give me specific examples of the gratitude she was feeling in her life.
Mom is still teaching me that fundamental Christian message. Here, at this prayerful sanctuary, away from the center of Rome, her message was palpable.
These are the four candles I lit for the friends who had requested a prayer.