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Built to Last: Weekly Message for 06-29-2021
Dear Fellow Digital Pilgrim, pax Christi:
Flanking the grand stairway that leads from St. Peter’s Plaza in Rome up to St. Peter’s Basilica are two gigantic and monumental statues. Sculpted out of travertine marble, they are mounted on pedestals that make them tower over the pilgrims who must pass them by when they enter and exit the biggest church building in the world. One depicts St. Paul with a book and a sword; the other depicts St. Peter with his massive keys (symbol of papal authority as described by Jesus in Matthew 16).
To be honest, the statues are so impressive that they can make us forget one very important detail about these two special saints: they were human beings just like you and me. Their greatness, represented by these striking works of art, was not a kind of super-hero greatness. Rather, it flowed from their receiving and seconding God’s grace in their lives. The same grace that you and I received in baptism. The same grace given when we go to confession, when we receive Holy Communion…
You can see where I am going with this reflection. God has a mission for each one of us. And he pours his grace out to strengthen us to fulfill that mission. And his grace flows through his Church, through its teaching, its sacraments, its witness… All these lessons are highlighted by the annual liturgical Solemnity of St. Peter and St. Paul, coming right up.
It is our hope and prayer that all the many products and services we offer here at RCSpirituality.org will help you discover and fulfill your mission. Our Retreat Guide on St. Peter and the Papacy, Built to Last, is especially appropriate for this early summer Solemnity. But the more you click around the site, the more aids to spiritual growth you will find. So please, click away! And when you find something you like, share it with someone, just as the sculptors who made the statutes of St. Peter and St. Paul have shared their experience of faith with thousands of pilgrims through the centuries. That’s how we help build the Kingdom of Christ, the only Kingdom that will last forever.
Before signing off, I want to thank all of you who are continuing to support us with your prayers, suggestions, and donations. Thank you for helping spread the Good News throughout the growing, digital continent.
God bless you and keep you.
In Him, Fr. John Bartunek, LC, ThD
(originally published in 2016)