Sunday, June 28, 2009

Paul Said II

"Rejoice always;
Pray without ceasing;
in everything, give thanks;
for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
(1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Thank you Saint Paul, for those simple, yet wonderful words of advice.

God Bless.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Paul Said

“If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, will he not also give us all things with him?” (Romans 8:31-32)

Thank you St. Paul, for reminding us just how much our Father loves us.

God Bless.

Friday, June 19, 2009

St. Paul Outside the Walls

Since the Jubilee Year of St. Paul ends this month, my next few posts will be about this great Apostle.

Today I wanted to share some photos of my trip to see St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome.
(St. Paul's, by the way, is considered to be one of the four great churches/basilicas in the Catholic faith.)

This basilica is built over the place where
Paul was believed to have been crucified. The front is picturesque with the palm trees, statue, mosaic and pillars...

The back of the basilica is equally beautiful...

Inside, there is a huge tabernacle that marks the spot where St. Paul was believed to be beheaded...

A closeup of the ceiling shows the exquisite detail (I don't know about you, but my church doesn't look like this!) ...

In 2006, the Vatican announced that it had found the sarcophagus believed to contain the remains of St. Paul himself! There is only a small part visible to the public, and it is behind a gated area, so you will have to excuse the poor photo...

It was a very moving experience, to say the least, especially given that it was during the Jubilee Year. If you ever have the fortune to go to Rome, don't miss St. Paul's. It it outside the city walls (thus the name), but a quick 20 minute subway ride lets you off right across the street from the basilica.

St. Paul, please pray for us.

God Bless.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ

"Take it; this is my body" (Mark 14:22)

"This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many" (Mark 14:24)

"For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes." (St. Paul in 1 Cor 11:26)

There are two beautiful things about the quotes above:

  • In Mark 14 (the Gospel reading for today), Jesus uses the word is. He does not say is a symbol of or represents. He says is. This is my body. What better reason do we need to know that the Eucharist and Cup we receive at Mass every week is the Body and Blood of our Lord?
  • In 1 Cor, St. Paul tells us that the Body and Blood are also a reminder of the extreme sacrifice Jesus made for us. We are proclaiming that He died for our sins and will come again.
I try and remember these two things as I prepare to receive our Lord every week.

On one hand, I remind myself of the tragic and unselfish sacrifice Jesus made for us. He gave up His Body and His Blood for us on the cross so that we can be with Him in Paradise.

On the other had, I am overjoyed to receive Him and enjoy all the graces that come with this Blessed Sacrament.

How do you prepare to receive our Lord?

God Bless.