A short visit and a beautiful surprise

By Paige Pagan

What became a brief visit to a church on the way to The Anglican Centre, on 28 June, turned into an eye-opening experience for me. The short visit to the Church of Sant’Ignazio proved to be an opportunity for me to realize my many blessings. Often times we just pay attention to things we lack instead of appreciating the blessings God has given us. We tend to cry out to God for help when we are in need, but we don’t thank him when he brings us out of the gutters. We accomplish all things through the Lord’s guidance and sometimes don’t realize how good he is to us everyday.

The Church of Sant’Ignazio was different from all the other churches we have seen so far because it combined religion and nature. Throughout the church, there were numerous “Roots of Life” trees. I have always been a big fan of nature and particularly a tree hugger. So, as soon as I stepped foot into that church full of blown-bronze trees, I felt at peace, not only with myself, but with my surroundings. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to see every tree and read its meaning, but the ones that I did see were so powerful. The apple tree was the tree of knowledge and symbolized that those who care for and love it will bear good fruits. My interpretation of this tree was that the Lord has created this beautiful world for us that we must care for and not destroy, which is also reflected in the book of Genesis.

Trees

Images from the “Roots of Life” exhibit in the Church of Sant’Ignazio in Rome

The chestnut tree was the tree of generosity, which symbolized branches of excellence and treasure. This tree was the most beautiful as it seemed to be highlighted the most. I interpreted this tree as showing that God has provided his children with many blessings, including his only Son who died for our sins.

The fig tree was the tree of hospitality and symbolized fertility, knowledge, joy, and pacification. The fig tree had long branches that seemed to be all interconnected somehow. I interpreted this to mean that we are all God’s children, therefore we should all be humble with one another. These three trees were the main ones that stood out to me and caught my attention. Even though the church had more trees that I wanted to see, we were only there for a few minutes, so I plan on revisiting the Church of Sant’Ignazio on my own.

I liked that all the trees symbolized something different but that they all related to something about religion. They were all such beautiful illuminating sights, each radiating strong messages.

The trees also brought me back to my childhood and made me think of a picture book I used to read, “The Giving Tree,” by Shel Silverstein, and it was about a tree who loved a boy. In childhood the boy loved and cared for the tree, but as he grew older all he did was continue to take from the tree until it was just a stump and had nothing else to give.

The trees shown in the Church of Sant’Ignazio showed different pieces of God’s love for us and how we can easily take advantage of it. Because of these trees I left that church in good spirits, thanking God for all he has given me and appreciating the many opportunities he bestows upon me.

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2 Responses to A short visit and a beautiful surprise

  1. Ruth Frampton says:

    I would love to find out more about the Root of Life exhibition at the Gesu. Is there a weblink to it? Best wishes Ruth

    http://www.stpetersfoundation.org/ http://walktheextramile.org/

    >

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