The reason for this disparity is, as I said above, I have never associated the concept of "Home" with a place. Home is more of a concept, and even in some sense a feeling. As much as my inner wordsmith dislikes using such a word for something so nebulous as a feeling there really is nothing else for it. When I am home I feel relaxed. I feel like I belong. I feel whole and at rest. Perhaps it is a good thing that I can feel at home in so many places, but it is never the place that is the home.
Or perhaps Home is not a feeling, so much as the things that I have those feelings about. Home is always ever two things, in my life. When I speak of Home (with a deliberately capital 'H') I am speaking of either people that I love, or a Catholic Church. Having traveled quite a bit and lived in many different places, I have made many friends on both ends of the country. Sometimes it feels to me like I can never truly go home, because there is no place that unites all of those people. My Tacoma/Puyallup family would be missing if I were on the East coast, and on the west coast my related and pretty much related family would be missing. When I have leave and I go to the east coast I don't have time to visit my NY family, and my VA family, and my SC family. Home for me would be some scenario where all of those people could be gathered together for Mass, and then a huge pizza party afterwards. When I travel overseas it is not America that I miss (cheeseburgers, the mall, fast internet and all that) but the people. My friends. And when I am in a non-Catholic country I miss the Mass.
In a similar way that I have home all over the place in the people I love, I have also been to many different Catholic churches and seen many different liturgies. Some hold a special place in my heart (shoutout to Our Lady of Good Counsel in Verona, NY; St. Mary's in Greenville SC; and St. Francis Cabrini in Lakewood WA) but at all of them there is Jesus in His Sacramental Presence. There I am at home.
It is amazing where you can find a Catholic Church these days. Just google "Catholic Church in Kathmandu and a link for the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption will appear. Since I happened to find myself in Kathmandu, with a google machine handy, I did such a search, and for the price of an outrageously expensive and more than usually dangerous taxi ride, I was able to get to the Church thirty minutes before the 9:00 A.M. Sunday morning Mass. (In Nepal, Saturday is the day off, it being a Hindu country, so Sunday is the first day of the work and school week.)
|The Church in her role as educator.|
|No Shoes inside. You will notice that my shoes are covered by a touristy white hat which I bought to keep the sun off my touristy (and balding) white head.|
|I took a surreptitious picture during the Gospel. Does that make me a bad Catholic?|
One consequence of not having pews is that when it came time for Communion, people simply made a beeline straight for the Eucharist! Back of the church, front of the church, whenever and however they liked, they came. It may not have seemed orderly, but it made sense to them and I am sure it made sense to Jesus as well.
And it was the Mass! Apart from any novelty, irrelevant to any strange customs or eye-attracting art or architecture, above and beyond and infinitely deeper than all of these things (yet at the same time in and with and through all of these things) it was the Mass. The God of the Universe saw fit to arrange my schedule and travel plans to make it possible for me to visit Him in the Mass. It bears out what I have said on this blog many times, brings it home, (pun very much intended) that God wants to give Himself to me far more than I could ever want to receive Him.