Laudetur Jesus Christus! Gelobt sei Jesus Christus! Sia lodato Gesù Cristo! Praised be Jesus Christ!
By now, our Pilgrimage has come to an end and we have returned back to Cincinnati. In this last week, we were primarily in the holy city of Rome. We have visited the major Basilicas of St. Peter, St. John Lateran (the Pope’s Cathedral), St. Mary Major, & St. Paul Outside the Walls. We have visited the Roman Oratory and have attended Mass at the tomb of St. Philip Neri. We have also visited the church where he lived when he founded the Oratory, as well as the church where he was Parish Priest for many years. We also visited the Catacombs, and had Mass in the spot where the Holy Spirit entered into his heart as a ball of fire. And we have also seen the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Jesuit Church of the Gesu, and the great Dominican Church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva. We have enjoyed a lot of good food and visited many gelato shops. Thank you for the prayers over these past days. I hope that those who have gone understand our great Saint a bit better, and can help our Parishes to know him more. I pray that St. Philip bless each of you, and draw you into the same communion with God that he had!
As we continue to prepare for the Advent Season, I present another brief reflection of St. Robert Bellarmine. Have a blessed week ahead!
“Now, that we may live well it is necessary, in the first place, that we die to the world before we die in the body. All they who live to the world are dead to God: we cannot in any way begin to live to God, unless we first die to the world. This truth is so plainly revealed in Holy Scripture, that it can be denied by no one but infidels and unbelievers. But, as in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall stand, I will quote the holy apostles, St. John, St. James, and St. .Paul, witnesses the more powerful, because in them the Holy Spirit (who is the Spirit of Truth) plainly speaketh. Thus writes St. John the Evangelist: “The prince of this world cometh, and in me he hath not anything,” (chap. xiv. 30.) Here the devil is meant by ” the prince of this world,” who is the king of all the wicked: and by the “world” is understood the company of all sinners who love the world, and are loved by it.
We are clearly told, that the whole world will be condemned at the last day. But by the “world” is not meant heaven and earth, nor all those who live in it; but they only who love the world. The just and pious in whom reigneth the love of God, not the concupiscence of the flesh are indeed in the world, but not of the world: but the wicked are not only in the world, they are also of the world; and therefore not the love of God, but the “concupiscence of the flesh” reigneth in their heart, that is, luxury and the concupiscence of the eyes,” which is avarice and “the pride of life,” which is an esteem of themselves above others; and thus they imitate the arrogance and pride of the devil, not the humility and mildness of Jesus Christ.
Wherefore, he who seriously desireth to learn the Art of dying well, on which his eternal salvation and all true happiness depend, must not defer quitting this world, and entirely dying to it: he cannot possibly live to the world and to God; he cannot enjoy earth and heaven” – St. Robert Bellarmine