Wednesday, September 23, 2009

"Upon This Rock I Will Build My Church!"

Well, I must admit that my brother priest, Father Matthew Huehlefeld (pastor of St. Joseph Church in Yoakum, Texas) was correct when he told me that the scavi (excavations of the necropolis under St. Peter's Basilica) would be the highpoint of my visit to the Eternal City! It is almost impossible to put into words one's thoughts and feelings as one stands at the tomb of St. Peter and gaze upon the bones of The Fisherman...the man chosen by our Lord Himself to be His Vicar on earth; the Rock upon whom the Catholic Church is built; the lowly disciple whose life, teachings, and martyrdom won him the crown of the Prince of the Apostles. The man (after our Lord Himself, of course) who has brought countless generations (almost 1.3 billion Catholics in the world today...and I think most of them were in St. Peter's Square today for the Holy Father's audience!) to Christ and their salvation almost 2,000 years later through the ministry of the 264 Bishops of Rome who have followed him in an uninterrupted and unbroken (despite the many things the world has and continues to throw at it!) apostolic succession; all so that man could one day live in total and complete friendship with God!! If this does not show forth the Hand of God in human history, I don't know what will!
The photo above shows a replica of St. Peter's tomb as discovered under the main altar of St. Peter's Basilica when excavations began in the 1940's.

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