Saturday, July 14, 2012

A CMH Student's London Experience

A reflection by CMH (soon-to-be-senior) Maria Novak -

The time spent in London, as Mr. Burke would say, was a “sovereign experience” Sovereign, as defined, is dominant and effective. It is supreme and imperial. No postcard or Google image could have evoked the same reaction that we all had the first day in London. The best part at that point was knowing there was only more to come. Overall, to have to choose which part of the trip was everyone’s favorite was next to impossible. Luckily, as a result of Mr. Burke’s 5 mph walking pace, we can say we did it all. As the days went by, bucket lists had more lines crossed off and internal scrapbooks had pages added.

            The Beatles once sang, “When you’ve seen beyond yourself then you may find peace of mind is waiting there” The Sunday after arrival, we went to the Westminster Cathedral for mass. To say magnificent would be an understatement but to say gigantic comes close. The walls were covered in marble and mosaic tiles. The steps, similar to a red carpet, led up to the altar. The ceiling was black brick as if to encourage those attending to focus on what their purpose was for being there. The choir could be compared to singing angels. They were in unison from the moment the first note was played. Before you knew it, you were singing the “Our Father” completely engaged. The beauty and the structure of the mass were unlike anything we had ever experienced before. It left us appreciating our faith and realizing that offering peace is not just simply a handshake. Often people will say that a person should go to mass to get something out of it. However after having had this experience it’s hard not to believe mass is to give back to God and to show gratitude for moments such as these. It is so that we can reflect and be inspired, and to, in the end, go beyond ourselves.

            There were several more humbling experiences that excited us for the future when we eventually fill our passports with stamps galore. The trip to London was the epitome of a “sovereign” experience and it will only lead to better things. Until then, we must mind the gap.

-Maria

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