Although the weather could have been a little nicer, it was quite the interesting drive. Opting for the local roads instead of the autostrada enabled an intimate glimpse of every town along the way. I enjoyed every minute of my approximately two hour drive from Imperia, Italy to Monte-Carlo, Monaco where I was hoping to board a fancy yacht and take a little Mediterranean Sea cruise. Well, maybe next time. Several days later I found myself exploring Elba Island off Tuscany, then Rome, over to the Adriatic Coast, and then across to Croatia for some sightseeing there. Croatia is very beautiful, indeed. I think it was a week later that I went hiking in Greece, had a pint in London after a vigorous town walk, and then it was on to checking out a number of Venetian coffee houses while enjoying the perfect cup myself. All of this happened while traveling in First Class comfort upon my couch. One of the benefits of our pandemic lock-down (and the cancelling of my Netflix subscription) has been “armchair” travel. It’s free, simple, and I can go just about anywhere on the planet (or beyond) in seconds and often in 4k Ultra HD. I highly recommend it and YouTube makes it easy. Actually, most of us have been engaging in “armchair” travel whether we know it or not. If you have watched Mass on TV or online, then you’ve done just that. Someone has said to me that they’ve really been enjoying “going to Mass” in their pj’s with a cup of java in hand. Well, all good things must come to an end, I suppose, and the possibility of our return to Mass in the state “yellow” phase will still involve many restrictions with no coffee drinking or pj wearing being first and foremost! Actually, being able to return to Mass and receive the Eucharist, even with restrictions, will be quite the blessing to say the least, just as much as actually driving down the Italian coast is a far greater adventure than simply watching online. Although I’ve enjoyed my “armchair” travel, I’m really looking forward to seeing friends and family once again face to face, even if we are wearing masks. My “armchair” travel experience had me wondering something. I wonder if the Resurrection is something like this. With “armchair” travel, I can travel around the world and beyond in seconds. The Risen Jesus, as we know, appeared to His disciples, ate and drank with them, and then vanished from their sight. Sometimes He was recognized immediately and sometime not. He stated that He was always with His Father, Who was always with Him, but then, Jesus ascended into Heaven yet promised that He would never leave. It is sort of like “armchair” travel yet more real than we can ever begin to fathom. The Risen Jesus can be with you, with me, and with the whole Church all at the same time. He might appear in some way to one, while speaking with another in a conversation of the heart all from the comfort of His heavenly “couch,” while sporting His stylishly divine, heavenly pj’s the whole time. This is just a little something to ponder as we now look forward to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost from the One Who promised that I will be with you always even to the end of time when all “armchair” travel ends and we finally meet Face to face. Come Holy Spirit, come!
Remember: Pray for the sick and those that have died. Pray for a containment of the virus. Pray for a vaccine. Turn especially to Our Lady. We know that the Lord can hardly turn down a request made by His Mother!
Our Lady of the Holy Cross! Pray for us!