Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Gates of Hell

If you go to Rome you can see atop the inside walls of St. Peter’s Basilica which was constructed by the famous Italian painter-architect-sculptor-poet Michelangelo (1475-1564) the words from Scripture Mt. 16:10 written in Latin: Et Portae Inferi non pravelebunt adversus eam [translated: And the powers (gates) of Hell shall never prevail against my Church]. Throughout history, since the very first century when the Church was founded and even in the years following till our very own times, such words of Jesus have been proven true.  In fact even if there have been hundreds of martyrs who were sacrificed and died for the faith, those words of Jesus have proven true.  “I tell you most solemnly, unless a wheat grain falls on the ground and dies, it remains only a single grain; but if it dies, it yields a rich harvest” (Jn. 12:24). 

That was the experience and surprise of those who wanted the harm and downfall of the Catholic Church, the greater their numbers multiplied.  So came another Latin adage: Sanguis martyrum semen est Christianitatis [translated: The blood of martyrs is the seed of Christianity].  This would likewise include the tireless efforts and sacrifices of the followers of Jesus to proclaim and live His teachings of goodness, love, honesty, and justice.  God knows all those deepest secrets and motions of our heart and actions.  “He will reward each one according to his works” (Mt. 16:27).  The Lord hath said: “Vengeance is mine; I will repay” (Rom. 12:19; Dt. 32:35).

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree. The Church has indeed outlived every major Empire. And the sacrificed lives of countless martyrs was not a lessening of the church in their time... but a proof for us in our present time that what they died for is really really true!