“How lovely your dwelling, O LORD of hosts! My soul yearns and pines for the courts of the LORD. My heart and flesh cry out for the living God. As the sparrow finds a home and the swallow a nest to settle her young, my home is by your altars, LORD of hosts, my king and my God! Happy are those who dwell in your house!” ~ Psalm 84.2-5, NAB
The words of the Psalm 84 ran through my mind as I entered Saint Paul Outside the Walls. It is a massive worship space that carries a noble simplicity. This was the location where Blessed Pope John XXIII announced plans for the Second Vatican Council. It is also the place where lies the remains of Saint Paul himself!
Just as the psalm stated, we noticed a few birds flying around in the house of God. Afterwards, we made our way to Chiesa Del Gesu, the Jesuit parish that guards the tomb of the Society’s Founder: Saint Ignatius. You have to watch the following video! Only Catholics do it like this with such glory and honor for the arts. It is the unveiling of the statue of Saint Ignatius right above his tomb.
We finally made our way to visit the tomb of a doctor of the Church: Saint Catherine of Siena! She is a power house saint and it was a blessing to be with her and celebrate Mass so close to her tomb.
But when you take a deeper look, these saints such as Paul, Ignatius, and Catherine inspire us and encourage us to live out the faith with passion. They moved artists to build monuments to glorify God – culture and art speaking one langue which is the Gospel.
These were ordinary people and God used them to do extraordinary things to preach the Gospel. Their remains are a reminder that we are only passing through in this world. We are headed in one direction, it’s a straight shot to heaven! So live now for Christ and his Church: love the stranger, serve the poor, and find Jesus in the person right in front of you.