Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Building a Sign of Faith
As you can see the Chapel continues to take shape. It is interesting to see it from different angles around the area. I realized yesterday that I can look out the back window of my house and see the Chapel rising on the campus.
Yesterday, November 9, we celebrated the anniversary of the dedication of St. John Lateran. This beautiful basilica in Rome is not as well known as St. Peter's but it is actually the Pope's cathedral. As Bishop of Rome the Pope has a cathedra church or cathedral like all other bishops. If you ever have the opportunity to visit Rome you certainly want to see St. John Lateran. There has been a Catholic church on that site since the 4th century. The present structure was built in the 17th century.
I can imagine that many non-catholics and even many Catholics would wonder a bit why the Church would have a day on the calendar to celebrate a building. I suppose there are many answers to that question. Of course part of the answer is that St. John Lateran (the Pope's Cathedral) is the mother Church of all Churches in the world. As we build the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul which is part of our local Cathedral parish for the Diocese of Tyler, I find it inspiring that this new Church especially through its connection to the Cathedral is truly connected to all the other Catholic communities around the world in all the different languages and cultures.
I suppose the reason for celebrating a building that I find most compelling is that it is part of the sacramental character of our Catholic faith. Christ has given us the sacraments as sensory tangible manifestations of His Grace and Life. Certainly a building is not a sacrament but it is a sacramental. Very often sacramentals are small images etc. that help enhance our experience of the seven sacraments where Christ is truly acting and especially in the Eucharist is truly present. I guess I don't often think of a building as a sacramental but I believe it fits the definition especially in the case of the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul. It is a reminder of the faith and goodness of so many faithful people who have lived Christ in this community and so many who are still living that journey in their Catholic faith. Let us all say a little prayer as we pass this new Church literally rising on the Loop in Tyler. Let us pray that it truly will be a place where God's people grow in faith for years to come.
Guess I got a little carried away!!! By the way I am still running. Beautiful weather here lately. I hope to get in a nice run after a meeting I have in a few minutes.
God bless you today and always.