Mosaics, etc.

The splendors of the city of Antioch on the Orontes River amazed the ancient world. Owing to the vagaries of history, very few relics of the city remain.

The Baltimore Museum of Art participated in an achaeological dig in Antioch in the 1930’s. They unearthed some mosaics. A few of them are displayed on the walls of the BMA courtyard, including the striding lion above.

Another heirloom of the lost city has been handed down to us in a different way, namely, by succession.

Some 1,974 years ago today, St. Peter assumed the oversight of the church where the name “Christian” was first uttered, and was seated on his ‘chair.’ After seven years in Antioch, Peter went to Rome, where he assumed the presidency of the church on January 18.

There is some dispute about these particular dates. Also, some of our separated Christian brethren in the East claim that their patriarchs are the true successors of St. Peter, occupying his Antiochene cathedra.

The “chair” of Peter is a magnificent synecdoche referring to the supreme pastoral office in the Church. May God grant its occupant, Pope Benedict XVI, health and long years. And may his many saintly predecessors intercede for us.

…Ten years ago today, I venerated St. Peter’s tomb alongside the newly created Cardinal, Theodore McCarrick! I served his Mass at the Altar off the Chair!

6 thoughts on “Mosaics, etc.

  1. Father Mark,

    “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

    — George Santayana —

    And, they miss the true beauty of antiquity, the artsmanship and craftsmanship, and the devotion: a true lesson in humility, learning that two millenia ago (and more, when you consider other art from the region, say the Egyptian art) mankind was capable of such work.

    Then look at “artistry” today — often devoid of all aspects of humanity, nature and deity — and see it for what it is, an empty sham.

    So, we are urged by wisdom and prudence to seek out the past, beginning with the generations preceding, and to place value on their, being, works, thoughts and values.

    The real danger is more than just our being condemned to repeat the past; it’s also our missing its true beauty.



  2. Speaking of Baltimore, did you know that the Walter’s has an exhibit on Relics? It is called ” Treasures of Heaven: Saints, Relics and Devotions in Medieval Europe” and runs Feb 13 to May 15th….:)

  3. Hello Fr. White! I come to ask a question. Why does God stay in Heaven? Why does he not walk among us? Will He show us compassion at the End?

  4. Dear Thomas, it is wonderful to receive your questions. They are profound.

    Although we cannot see God now, He is very near to us. He is closer to us than we are to ourselves. There is nothing in the depths of our souls which He does not know. When we get to heaven, please God, we will see clearly how close God has been to us all along.

    We can be sure that He will show compassion to us when we go to meet Him. A good way for us to get used to meeting Him is to examine our consciences carefully and go to Confession regularly. Every time we go, He meets us with compassion, forgives our sins, and helps us to get better.

    One more thing, never forget that the good Lord wants you to be a big Georgetown Hoyas fan.

    Love, Father White

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