It has always been my habit to light candles in churches in Europe, but most especially in Paris. When I travel I feel a mixture of excitement and gratitude with a tinge of guilt. It is probably my Catholic upbringing that makes me feel conflicted.
I feel extremely lucky for the ability and good fortune to be able to experience different cultures. I try to never forget those who are suffering worldwide. Often it’s my 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 the ritual is complete. 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 been true to my commitment to think of others while abroad.