Lighting Candles in Paris

It has always been my habit to light candles in churches in Europe, but most especially in Paris. When I travel I always feel a mixture of excitement and gratitude with a tinge of guilt. It is probably my Catholic upbringing that makes me feel conflicted when on a trip. I feel extremely lucky for the ability and good fortune to be able to experience different cultures, but I also cannot help stealing some of my own joy to think of others who are suffering while I am out enjoying myself. Sometimes, it is not guilt, but gratitude that brings me to these houses of worship to light a candle in remembrance of family and friends who are no longer living or to help those who are suffering with personal struggles. Each trip I dedicate my “lighting” for a specific purpose or to help lift up those who are hurting. While in France, I never truly relax until my ritual of lighting a candle for others is completed. Then, as you all know, I am off to enjoy the rest of my journey – usually seeking out a great red wine and tasty Parisian pastries.

Looking back at all these photos makes me realize just how old I am, but I still smile because it means that I have made many, many trips to Paris. Who could complain?

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