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Atop St. John Lateran Church
Many pilgrims ascending the Scala Sancta on their knees; this was beyond my ability, but I did kneel for a longish time and tried to recall everyone’s intentions.
I’m with you about ascending the Scala Sancta. I hope you’re enjoying your time in Rome.
Elizabeth, I certainly hope that you were praying for me and I think you were because after mass and prayer, I was prepared to post on today’s Gospel because the truth was burning within me and to make a long story short my wife reminded me that I had to drive her somewhere and then took me out for diner and to top “IT” all, she talked me into taking her to a bingo and I hate bingo’s but I’m back home now. Go Figure!
I hear ya! So are you still going to post anyway Victor?
God help me if I do!
Thank you, Elizabeth, for your prayers and for the lovely pictures that you’ve shared with us!
I have a photo exactly like that, taken by my wife as we ascended. My sister-in-law and I did make it to the top … barely. What I remember most was reaching through the wooden steps (through slots along the edge of each stair) and touching the stone stairs beneath as I prayed. Prayer infuses that stone. They permeate them. I cannot describe the depth of emotion that invoked.
Wow, the Scala Sancta — brought back great memories from 35 years ago when I was a student in Europe. I remember those steps from time-to-time, but had forgotten the name. Thanks for sharing the photo with us!
And did everyone in Rome say “hi”? What happened to “Ciao?” They’ve been Americanized!
Thank you for the prayer!
Do you believe those are genuinely the stairs Jesus ascended? I’d so love to, but after all these hundreds of years it’s hard to have faith….in something like that, at least. How much do you think we can really trust these kinds of relics?
That’s understandable Lori. Unlike, say, relics of the early Roman martyrs, where there has been a stable community of believers for nearly 2000 years to vouch for them (e.g. the location of St. Peter’s grave), there is a division of time between the spreading of the Christian faith out from Israel/Palestine after Pentecost and fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 on the one hand, and the discovery of these purported Holy Land relics a few hundred years later during the time of Constantine. So, from a historical perspective, it is not unreasonable to be circumspect or to wonder about the authenticity of, for example, the crib from the Nativity down the street at Santa Maria Maggiore or fragments of the Cross.
However, it is also not unreasonable to presume that there was some community of Christian believers who remained in the Holy Land after the fall of Jerusalem, and they might have been able to verify their authenticity. In any event, things like this are not “articles of faith” that one is “obligated” to believe.
That said, I do think that perhaps the Scala Sancta fall into a different category. After all, it is known that Jesus was tried by Pilate, and the praetorium was a well-known public place, so the circumstantial evidence is a little higher in this case.
I hope you get a chance if you are walking on the Via dei Fori Imperiali alongside the Roman Forum to stop into the little Basilica of the Physician Saints Cosmas and Damian. It doesn’t look like a church from outside…you enter through the cloister. It has a gorgeous mosaic and a lovely neapolitan Christmas Crib.
Enjoy your stay in Rome.
Thank you for your prayers. We are seeing evidence of them in our little home and town. We are all growing closer to Christ…light is coming on some situations. Sunday sevice brought evidence of that light…please continue to pray. Thank you again for taking us with you!
I love the pictures and comments.
Elizabeth Scalia is a Benedictine Oblate and the Managing Editor of the Catholic Portal at Patheos. She is an award-winning writer and a regularly-featured columnist at [Read More...]
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