A religious experience in Assisi

I am a very lapsed Catholic. I only go to church (if I have to) for weddings, funerals and baptism. I don’t pray to God in the traditional sense. I certainly don’t partake in any Catholic rituals like Communion or Confession. I hate the propaganda and dogma of the Catholic Church. Not to mention the corruption and abuse of power that seems to go hand and hand with this religion.

And yet… whenever I go somewhere can be considered significant to Catholicism, I am quite moved by the experience. Tonight, I am spending the night in Assisi and have just returned from visiting the Basilicas of St Clare and St Francis, as well as their crypts. The artwork in St Francis’ Basilica was beautiful, with frescos decorating the walls and ceilings.

But it was the crypt of St Francis where I felt the most moved. Walking around the tiny crypt reminded me that human beings want – need – something to believe in. To fight for. To die for. We want to be inspired by others. To be moved. To feel. To be in awe.

Maybe today I had what can best be described as a religious experience. Or something pretty close.

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