You can’t avoid thinking about time when in Rome. It’s not just the buildings and the history – it’s the time you have to wait for a bus, too. I waited over 40 minutes one day for a bus that is supposed to come every ten minutes.
But, you stand in the Pantheon and look at Raphael’s tomb and contemplate the fact that hundreds of years after he painted we are still seeing his work … and perusing his tomb. At the root of much of his art is a consciousness of mortality.
We shall all die. So, we are accountable for how we live in the light of that mortality. As Heidegger put it, we are ‘beings towards death’.
Today part of our group has gone to the Papal Audience – in the rain. Benedict is an old man and will not be here for too much longer (in the grand scheme of things). I had hoped to visit the tomb of John Paul II, but didn’t have the time when at St Peter’s the other day. The photo to the left is a list in St Peter’s of all the Popes. We come and go and people will come and stare at what we left behind.
The Tiber flows on and time passes by. Just as well God has a broader perspective than we do. Otherwise we’d take ourselves too seriously.