Tuesday, January 17, 2017

January 17th

From inside the Catacombs

In the morning, we made a pilgrimage to some of the ancient Christian catacombs.  These underground catacombs were used as a way to burry the dead when space above ground was not available (the largest of the catacombs had 500,000 graves).  They are important for us spiritually because the early Christian martyrs were first buried in these catacombs.  A few of their names might be familiar to you: St. Cecilia, St. Sebastian, St. Philomena.

In the afternoon, we visited the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.  This congregation works on doctrinal questions as well as on grave discipline issues in the Church (not an easy job!).  What impressed me most was hearing from two priests who work in this difficult department and witnessing their joy.  They told us to "keep our head against the tabernacle", in other words, to always stay close to Jesus in the Eucharist.  From Jesus comes all our joy even in the most difficult of assignments and situations.

In the evening, we visited the headquarters of Opus Dei.  We were able to have Mass in their chapel with the body of their founder, St. Jose Maria Escriva.  Opus Dei is dedicated to teaching the universal call to holiness, especially among lay people.  They stress that every situation can be sanctifying, whether that be family life or work life.  Holiness is never reserved for priests (or deacons)!  Holiness is for everyone.

God bless you.

A joke "secret passage way" at Opus Dei

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