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A Pilgrimage to Music City, USA


Nashville, Tennessee is appropriately generally known as Music City, USA. It is the well-established residence of nation music (the Grand Ole Opry, the Ryman Auditorium, file label headquarters, and many others.) and dwell music pulses from at the least just a few levels round city each evening of the yr. A customer might spend days taking within the historic websites of Music Row, and plenty of nights imbibing the inventive flare of aspiring musicians on Second Avenue.

Still, Nashville bears one other nickname that’s much more attention-grabbing. The metropolis is called the “Athens of the South,” particularly due to its lengthy and wealthy historical past of upper schooling. Readers would simply acknowledge the names of a number of universities within the metropolis. Because universities grew out of the Catholic patrimony, we ought to understand the seek for philosophical and scientific fact that has taken place at these establishments over a few years.

Nashville additionally bears this nickname due to town’s major inventive and architectural landmark. The Nashville Parthenon is a full-scale duplicate of the unique construction that stood atop the Acropolis in Athens, Greece as a temple to the goddess Athena. Pilgrims who go to the Parthenon have wealthy alternatives, each inside and outdoors, for schooling and meditation as they find out about Greek structure and mythology.

This duplicate Parthenon has attention-grabbing and deep connections to our Christian religion. One attention-grabbing connection is the stone gryphons perched at every nook of the construction’s roof. In historic mythology, gryphons had the physique and tail of a lion and the wings of an eagle. The lion and the eagle are two of the widespread symbols for 2 of the authors of the Gospels (St. Mark and St. John). How fascinating it’s that Greek tradition (mythology and philosophy) was important in getting ready the world for Jesus Christ; and considered one of its widespread symbols factors us to 2 of the Gospels that assist us to know Jesus extra totally.

The sculptures of the Parthenon are dedicated to Athena, the Greek goddess of knowledge, and her story. The pediments on the east and west ends of the construction inform the story of Athena coming to affect and energy within the Greek and Athenian pantheons. Inside the construction resides a 42-foot statue of Athena, a duplicate of the one which stood within the unique temple. On the statue, a pilgrim notices eleven snakes, the serpent being a major image of historic Athens.

Each of those particulars of Athena’s life, and the statue, gives a major second to meditate on the place of Our Blessed Mother, Mary, in God’s plan of salvation. Christians perceive, from the Old Testament ahead, that knowledge has all the time been the handmaiden of the Lord. For instance, within the ninth chapter of the Book of Wisdom, Solomon prays for “the knowledge that sits by your throne,” as a result of he’s “the son of your maidservant” (Wis. 9:4-5). Further, as Christians we all know and imagine that God’s ideas and methods are greater than we might ever perceive, unfathomable to our finite minds (see Isaiah 55:8-9, for instance). The actual seat of knowledge was not in historic Greece or Athena, however within the handmaid of the Lord. Beyond this, pilgrims have the chance to name on the intercession of Our Lady, Seat of Wisdom, whose humility crushes the satisfaction of the serpent, and who will help us crush satisfaction, age after age.

In the decrease degree of the Nashville construction (the unique solely had one degree), there may be additionally a quaint little artwork gallery. Most of the work within the assortment are still-life pictures or generic nature scenes. These supply a chance to ponder the fantastic thing about God’s creation. Yet, maybe essentially the most enthralling portray within the assortment is The Rose of Shiraz by Hovsep Pushman, an Armenian refugee to America within the late-nineteenth century. Whether Pushman was a Christian refugee just isn’t effectively established, however his portray factors us to Our Blessed Mother. The girl within the portray is draped in blue with noticeable identifiers of Middle Eastern tradition, the place Mary lived.

Just moments away from Centennial Park and the Parthenon, pilgrims will discover Nashville’s Cathedral of the Incarnation. The exterior of the church is within the model of excessive medieval Florentine church buildings, reminiscent of Santa Maria Novella. The inside is a traditional basilica-style, with a big nave sectioned roughly into thirds by columns. The fantastic thing about this cathedral lies in its simplicity. The Stations of the Cross are principally the one artwork on the partitions, aside from 4 distinctive plaster reliefs of the Gospel authors, together with St. Mark together with his lion and St. John together with his eagle. Looking as much as the ceiling, a pilgrim shortly notices the Angelus prayer, written in Latin, circling the nave. This is a reminder that the Incarnation of the Word marks the start of the achievement of God’s plan of salvation. We should kneel in humble adoration and, if we’re in a position, to obtain the sacramental Presence of Jesus into our our bodies and souls. That is the fruits of any pilgrimage.

Nashville can be residence to Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, a consecrated spiritual group identified all around the world. A go to to the group’s motherhouse is an actual deal with. Pilgrims are welcome to hitch the sisters for each day Mass and communal prayer (merely name the motherhouse to verify occasions). If a go to to the motherhouse isn’t attainable, the group has developed a wonderful online tour that can assist anybody get at the least a small style of this anointed place. Beyond the motherhouse, the group operates Aquinas College in Nashville, making their very own contribution to the wealthy tradition of upper schooling within the metropolis.

At some level whereas touring, each pilgrim might want to eat, and a part of any good pilgrimage is sampling the native meals tradition. In Nashville, which means scorching rooster. Hattie B’s Hot Chicken affords a vigorous ambiance, and among the greatest fried rooster and sides {that a} pilgrim ever might discover. It merely makes an incredible cease to relaxation, refuel, and join with journey companions. (Note: the unique location is packed from open to shut. It could be useful to attempt one of many different areas close by.)

Finally, Nashville has an incredible alternative for pilgrims to immerse themselves in one other biblical motif. Throughout the scriptures, wine is a multivalent signal for God’s items to His folks. Just a half-hour south of Nashville sits Arrington Vineyards, a small however scenic winery with some unbelievable wine. Pilgrims ought to take a fast look at Jesus’ use of winery imagery (Matthew 20 or 21 and Mark 12, specifically) in His educating, after which ponder these teachings whereas strolling via the rows of vines. In explicit, all of us should ask the Lord for the grace to be succesful and trustworthy employees and stewards within the winery of the world.

In brief, Nashville is a vigorous and quickly rising southern metropolis. Travelers come for quite a lot of causes: music, enterprise, skilled sports activities, schooling, and extra. Yet, as Catholics, we see fairly just a few wealthy alternatives for vacationers to be reworked into pilgrims due to Nashville’s distinctive and memorable connection to necessary points of our religion.



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