I remember my visit to Rome quite well. It’s hard to forget a place that magical. Even more so, it’s hard to forget a place where everything has significance.
Although obviously important, I’m not referring to historical significance. I won’t even talk about that here. I’m talking about the fact that Romans, almost as beautifully as the Lord, himself, breathed life into Adam’s nostrils, give life and spirit to every aspect of their lives. Even minor, insignificant events that most Americans would ignore mean something in Rome.
A specific incident during my vacation stands out in my memory. We were grabbing a quick cup of coffee at a corner cafe on the Via Veneto. I asked if I could have mine to go and the waitress looked at me perplexed, almost as if I had offended her. “No,” she laughed. “We don’t have cups to go.”
I stood there and accepted her truth. She gave me my cappuccino in a porcelain cup, which of course came with a saucer, and I enjoyed my coffee at that cafe and did not leave until I finished.
That coffee meant something more than just a cup o’ joe. It was crafted by her, and she lovingly gave it to me with the intention that I was going to enjoy it. Would it have tasted differently in a plastic cup? I don’t know, but I do know that I enjoyed taking a moment to actually savor the experience and I do not regret it.
Just as a thought experiment, what if we were to apply that Roman philosophy to all aspects of our lives? Can everything have meaning in a world void of much? Everything is cheapened, from our food to our music, to our homes and even our romance.
Being Catholic in a contemporary world is a really interesting experience. The Church calls us to live life through love entirely, all while living in a society that is on-the-go. Can those two conflicting world views exist in harmony?
I write this post in light of romance and how romance is perceived in the contemporary world. It’s hard to see men and women in their uniqueness when those definitions have been lost. It’s hard to see what we need, primarily love, when the world lacks it authentically. What if we equated love, romance, marriage, and sex to the way Romans enjoy cappuccino? Every instance with our significant other would be enjoyed throughout, and would hold significance in the way God intended.
It’s hard to escape modern reality, for we marinate in it all day. In a world dedicated to earning dollars and brownie points, it’s nice to know another way of life does exist, and is attainable. I’m not preaching on a soap box. I’m merely presenting and pondering another way of life that seems more peaceful and might bring about more love in the world. After all, love is truly all we need.