Catholics have the perfect tool to combat homesickness!
It’s been one year, four months, and 26 days since I was last in England. I never thought I’d ever be away from my native country and my family for this long and it’s really, really hard.
In fact on a trip to Normandy last weekend, I looked out at the sea and started calculating how long it would take me to swim the channel from the shores of my adopted France back home. With 21 miles distance, I could only dream.
With homesickness kicking in stronger than ever, I sought a little bit of home comfort in one of the British Marks and Spencers stores peppered throughout Paris. Just seeing all my favorite meals, cakes, and sauces made my heart sing.
It was a temporary fix, however, as no sooner had I finished my packet of shortbread than my pangs for the UK returned. Not even a phone call to my loving mom could fix it. I just felt frustrated more than ever that I couldn’t see her.
Then I had a thought.
Where else did my heart sing in a similar way to my Brit food hit? And church and all its familiarity came to mind. That sacred space, no matter where it is in the world, opens its doors as if to say “welcome home,” offering reassurance, comfort, and hope all in one go.
My homesickness quickly subsided as I remembered that I was blessed to be in a country full of churches — some pretty old and impressive ones, too — and that whenever I needed, I could enter a church and be “home.”
While I’m still lacking in hugs from my family members, and unable to enjoy the beautiful English countryside, I know I’ll get there soon enough. In the meantime I’ll visit my spiritual home. After all, our real home is heaven, and everything else in this world a mere shadow of what that homecoming will be like once day.