My first view of St. Peter’s Basilica.
Cattedrale Santa Maria del Fiore. The cathedral of Florence. I walk past this incredible building every day, and never get tired of it.
The doors of the Baptistry in Florence, dedicated to St. John the Baptist, the patron Saint of Florence. Each square depicts a scene from the Old Testament.
I wanted to share this picture with you, and although not technically religious, or a church, It’s probably the most beautiful picture I have taken. And I wanted to share it with you, along with a story.
About a month ago, I was at a social dinner for the American Catholic group here in Florence at the Cathedral, and I was talking to two students from Kentucky. They were telling me that they live near the Cathedral, and walk by it every day on the way to school. Then one girl mentioned that she’s getting so used to seeing the church that she barely even glances at it anymore.
I remember thinking immediately how not only did I not understand that she could not recognize it’s beauty even now, but also how sorry I felt for her that she could not.
I hope I never, ever become so accustomed to something that I no longer recognize its beauty. I hope I never walk by anything and not use the eyes that God gave me to take in its splendor before I continue on. I hope I always catch my breath when I see something extraordinary, even if I’ve seen it a million times before.
Because I am so thankful to be alive, I am so thankful to have eyes, and what better way to thank and praise God for that, then to admire his creations within the world around us?
I could not understand this girl’s statement, because even now, after walking past that enormous, beautiful, breathtaking, splendid work of art, my heart skips a beat and I praise God that I get to see it.
But it’s also made me realize how much I skipped over before I came here. How many times I didn’t notice the beauty around me because I had grown up in it, and how wrong of me that was.
Cherish what you have, because there are a thousand people who don’t have it. Love what you can see, because there are a thousand people who can’t see it. And thank God for all of this, because there are a thousand people who never will.