Where is the most inspiring place you have ever been? Why was it inspiring?
So many! I pick three:
Padre Island/Mustang Island near Corpus Christi, Texas
My parents lived there before I was born, kept their owned house as a rental, and my family visited it each summer either to check up on the residents or to camp out on the floor. So, every summer, our vacation was at (north) Padre Island. When I was little, there were still large sand dunes there, between which my family played athletic hide-and-seek. During the day at our spot on the beach, I annually dug a hole for myself just my size, not unlike the bottom half of a sarcophagus, anticipating the evening campfire on the beach of hot dog supper and lingering love of the light going down. After dark, that was when the magic happened for me. Warm in the sand shaped like me, level with the ground (free of the chill from the sea breeze), I looked at the stars — the infinite stars — and I experienced God.
My husband and I were fortunate to attend University of Dallas, which encourages most students to spend at least half of their sophomore year in the UD sister campus in Italy. Hubby and I met in college, immediately fell in love, and were actually engaged by the time we were on the UD trip to Assisi, as part of our Rome experience. That is not why this is special. This is: our professors gathered the 85-ish of us and made us stand next-to/on the wall around Assisi at sundown. As the sun went down, the call to Mass by the church bells rang. The Spirit was there.
Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico City
My family (hubby and kids) visited this place while touring Mexico City. I did not expect the emotional response I would have to “seeing” a shard of the wood from the rose plant (part of the miracle) which we viewed from a moving walkway to wheel us past the artifact without lingering… yet…
I felt the prayers. I am a Christian, not a Catholic, but obviously studied in that, so I get it. But as an actual Christian, I truly felt the Holy Spirit as the conveyer belt moved us past the wood shard. I believe I was feeling the prayers of the mass of people around me. Yes, I believe.