Rome Sweet Rome – Raised Catholic 126

The following is a transcript of a Raised Catholic podcast episode.

To listen to the episode, click here.

Today is episode 126: Rome Sweet Rome

Well, hello friend. This past week, my husband and I had the opportunity to travel with a local college choir’s pilgrimage to Rome and wow, wow, wow, there is so much to unpack from this amazing trip. If you listened to last week’s episode, you will know that this was an opportunity that really fell right into our laps, and though I had been dreaming of an Italy trip for literal years, I’m sorry to say that my first instinct here was to say no. This wasn’t the leisurely-sit-at-a-long-wooden-table-under-grapevines-and-eat-amazing-food-in-a-vineyard kind of trip of my dreams, but it was one that was packed full with tours of historic sites, long and very busy days, and much less freedom than the trip that I had originally envisioned, and so I feared that my ‘yes’ to this opportunity might mean ‘no’ to something else. And I wonder if you’ve ever wrestled with a decision like that. Well, it was not until I heard clear direction from God on this topic in a particular savasana in a particular yoga class that I ended up saying yes right before the sign-up deadline, from the car with my rolled-up yoga mat beside me, and, friend, I am so glad I did. 

Honestly, I have never been so happy to be so wrong about something in my whole life.

On this trip, I connected with amazing people, shared incredible experiences, and received an abundance of revelatory faith insights from God that could (and likely will) result in a summer’s full of podcast episodes. Really, friend, the Holy Spirit was so very kind to me on this trip, and I hope to share even a percentage with you of what He shared with me there. At my last count, I have about sixteen or seventeen topics I plan to explore this summer, on everything from the Providence of God which was so wildly evident in the crazy connections among the pilgrims gathered on this trip – links that just made you shake your head at how God weaves our paths together, to the global nature of our Church, to reflections on how the past can inform our future, to thoughts on this amazing generation of young people and all the many things they taught me, to the nature of pilgrimage, to lessons from Pentecost, to the spiritual allegories of harmony and music-making, to what you really can get for just eight euros, and so much more.

As in all really good stories, the pieces of what I learned came together in one big experience – in this case, in a very emotional revelation at a mass in the Vatican in which the college choir sang, and we non-choir members sat right up front. And this story will unfold over the summer in a way that I hope makes more sense but let me just say here by way of overview: friend, we have no idea how big our lives are. In a place like Rome, we can look around at all of the many statues and art, at images of the heroes of our faith who have come before, and we may be tempted to believe that these people were set apart, special in a way that we are not, but, friend, that is just not so. Our lives are enormously important.

And to be clear, I’m not saying that I think we’re called to live lives just like Peter did, or the apostles did, or Francis or Clare or any of the 140 saints and martyrs that ring around the tops of the buildings in St. Peter’s Square. No. We are called to let God live in us in the time and place in which God has intentionally planted us, and then to let the story of God live through us in a way that is designed specifically for us. Building on the foundations of what came before and making of our lives something that someone someday might say that ‘we were here’ – well, this is possible because of Pentecost and the great gift of the Holy Spirit and well, I have so many more thoughts to share with you on that in more episodes to come this summer. 

For now, I’ll just say that if you listened to episode 118: What I Learned This Lent – an Owl’s Surprising Appearance, then you will know that God has recently made me pay attention to owls in my path as a sign that He is abundantly present in the details of our lives. I’ll link to that episode in the show notes for you, but here let me just say that one day, while racing into the little shops in Assisi to find a particular gift in a particular shape, I ended up ducking into an artist’s shop that was full of hand-painted, beautiful owls. And I laughed to myself there, remembering that God is both ahead of me and with me as I walk out the path of my life, and that there is no detail in our lives that God’s kindness does not touch, literally none. I wasn’t looking for an owl, but there they were anyway, and I wasn’t looking for transformation on this trip, but thanks be to God, I found that, too. As I said in the owl episode, each time I see one these days, I hear a little prompting of the Holy Spirit in my spirit saying something like: 

I am here.

I am in this, whatever ‘this’ happens to be, and

Let’s dance.

(And, oh friend, did we dance this week.)

I can’t wait to tell you all about it.

Thanks so much for being with me today, friend. If you need me, you can find me on Instagram @kerrycampbellwrites or on my website at Thanks so much for rating, reviewing, subscribing and most importantly, sharing this podcast with a friend.  That really makes a difference in growing our community, so thanks. If you’d like to support this podcast financially, there’s a way for you to do that in the show notes, along with some resources related to today’s episode, so do check all of that out, but before we go, let’s pray together.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, amen.

In the words of Pope Francis at the Feast of Pentecost, words which we were so blessed to hear firsthand:

“…the Gospel offers us the remedy of the Risen One: the Holy Spirit. He frees us from the prisons of fear. When they receive the Spirit, the apostles – we celebrate this today – come out of the upper room and go out into the world to forgive sins and to proclaim the good news. Thanks to him, fears are overcome and doors open. Because this is what the Spirit does: he makes us feel God’s proximity, and so thus his love casts out fear, illuminates the way, consoles, sustains in adversity. Faced with fears and closure, then, let us invoke the Holy Spirit for us, for the Church and for the whole world: let a new Pentecost cast out the fears that assail us and revive the flame of God’s love.

May Mary Most Holy, the first to be filled with the Holy Spirit, intercede for us.” Amen.

Well, thanks so much for listening today, friend. I’ll see you next time.

Show Notes

This week is the first of many episodes on the many rich experiences and epiphanies I had this week while on pilgrimage in Rome. I hope these stories bless you as much as they did me! 

If you’d like to connect with me, ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠find me on Instagram⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠ or ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠at my website⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠.  If you’d like to ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠help support this podcast financially⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠, there’s now a way to do just that, and thank you – visit me ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠on my page at⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠! Thanks as always for sharing, subscribing, rating, and reviewing, as this helps our community to grow!

Thanks as always to my friend, Peter Vaughan-Vail, for providing the beautiful harp music you hear in this and every episode.

Here are some resources I hope will help you to engage with this week’s topic in a deeper way for yourself:

1. ⁠Pope Francis Angelus prayer⁠ translation – Pentecost 2023

2. ⁠Homily of His Holiness Pope Francis⁠ translation – Pentecost 2023

3. ⁠140 Saint statues⁠ on the Colonnades map – St. Peter’s Basilica

4. Transcript with audio link: ⁠Raised Catholic ep. 118: What I Learned This Lent – An Owl’s Surprising Appearance⁠

5. Song: ⁠Kingdom (featuring Naomi Raine & Chandler Moore)⁠, by Maverick City Music and Kirk Franklin

6. Song: ⁠Psalm 23⁠, by Poor Bishop Hooper

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