Laudetur Jesus Christus! Gelobt sei Jesus Christus!
Sia lodato Gesù Cristo! Praised be Jesus Christ!
Last week, we celebrated the feast of our Cathedral’s dedication in Cincinnati, and tomorrow we celebrate the feast of the Archbasilica St. John Lateran, the Cathedral Church of Rome. St. John Lateran is the head and mother of all churches around the world. The church building is significant in our lives as Catholics. Whole towns have been built around the church building, and it became the center of culture. The church building is set aside from the world because it becomes for us the symbol of Christ, the place where Christ dwells, and the place where Catholics come together to render worship to God.
This is why we celebrate, as a feast day, the day in which our churches have been dedicated and consecrated to God. Sacred Heart will celebrate this December the 150th anniversary of its dedication; a celebration will we hold off on celebrating until things with the pandemic pass a bit more. We should celebrate these things because it is at the altars of our churches that we are fed with the Bread of Angels in view of hopefully attending the eternal banquet in Heaven. Thank you for all of your support in helping to keep up these parish churches so that Christ can continue to dwell here.
To help our meditation on this point, please find this reflection from St. Augustine. This comes from the common office in the Divine Office for the dedication of a Church. The Divine Office are those Psalms and prayers that priests and religious say every day, as a mandate from the Church to pray for the people. I hope this reading is helpful to you this week. Have a blessed week ahead!
“Dearly beloved brethren, as often as we keep the Dedication-Feast of some Altar or Church, if we think faithfully and carefully, and live holily and righteously, that which is done in temples made with hands, is done in our soul by a spiritual building. He at the Dedication of the Temple lied not who said: The temple of God is holy; which temple ye are, and again: Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, Which is in you. And therefore, dearly beloved brethren, since by the grace of God, without any foregoing deserts of our own, we have been made meet to become the Temple of God, let us work as hard as we can, with His help, that our Lord may not find in His Temple, that is, in us, anything to offend the eyes of His Majesty.
Let the Tabernacle of our heart be swept clean of vices and filled with virtues. Let it be locked to the devil, and thrown open to Christ. Yea, let us so work, that we may be able to open the door of the kingdom of heaven with the key of good works. For even as evil works are so many bolts and bars to close against us the entrance into life, so beyond doubt are good works the key thereto. And therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let each one look into his own conscience, and when he findeth the wounds of guilt there, let him first strive by prayers, fasting, or alms deeds to purge his conscience, and so let him dare to take the Eucharist.
For if he acknowledge his iniquity, and withdraw himself from the Altar of God, he will soon attain unto the mercy of the pardon of God, for, as he that exalted himself shall be abased, so shall he that humbleth himself be exalted. He who, as I have said, acknowledging his iniquity, withdraweth himself through lowliness from the Altar of the Church, till he have mended his life, need have but little fear that he will be excommunicated from the eternal marriage supper in heaven.” – St. Augustine