Well, summer is here, it is hot and it is hard to wear a mask when it is in the mid 80s, I have discovered. I was on a bus today and had to stand because of few seats being available. It seemed to be warmer in the bus and all I could think of, for some reason, was what my Mom told us to do in difficult moments or during disappointments: “Offer it up for the poor souls in purgatory!”

That was very ingrained in us as children and it has honestly always been part of my life. The idea of “offering something up” for someone I did not know in purgatory was challenging to me as a child but then one day I was consoled when someone told me, “think of all the souls who will be praying for you when they get out of purgatory!”   We can also “offer something up” for people we do know – people who are ill or unhappy or undergoing trials or perhaps just received some terrible news.

I have to share something with you. I’ve noticed that, many of the times I have offered up some pain or physical suffering, it seemed to lessen just a bit! Was a soul in purgatory working on that?

Now, when I see my mask, it will be an occasion “to offer something up for a poor soul!”


Over the weekend I did something I’ve wanted to do for many months – return to a spot that is one of my favorites in all of Italy – Piazza Navona. I called the restaurant to see if indeed they were open and reserved a table. Several big restaurants were still closed but those that were open seemed to be doing OK There were quite a number of people in the square but nothing like it would be on a normal June Saturday evening!

I took just a few pics with my cell phone during the course of dinner.

Most of the people seemed to be families or couples. I saw more children last Saturday than I have in months – children, laughing and playing and enjoying themselves immensely! It was a great tonic! Is there anything better than a child’s laughter!

I got to Navona about 8 – by 9 or a bit after, families were on their way home and those who remained were couples and yes, a few tourists, mostly Italian. I think they know this will be the best time of their lives to visit their own beautiful nation without the mega-busses and huge crowds and long lines, etc.

I wanted to enjoy the evening and not be afraid to go out so I took all the necessary precautions, wearing a mask except during dinner, making sure hands were clean, keeping all the right distances – but the restaurants themselves are doing that – the tables many feet apart, masks and gloves for waiters, etc.