A few years ago I sat under the tree in the picture and was fortunate enough to participate in a beautiful Mass.
Since that time, this place has stood out in my mind, along with a few others (like Gethsemane and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre).
There are many people out there who are experiencing their own personal crisis' because of the recent media attention that the Church has received. Some are faithful Catholics. Others would have you believe that they are (I found this particular article to be especially disgusting!).
I have felt the same heartbreak that the rest of you have, but I have not for a moment began to doubt the authority of the Church. You see, the verse that drew me Home to the Church, and the verse that is the reason that this particular place stands out so vividly, still exists. Besides, I couldn't really believe in the authority of the Bible without believing in the authority of the Church, which selected the books of the Bible during various early councils.
This was and still is, my favorite Bible Verse:
To doubt the authority of the Church that Jesus founded would be to doubt his own words. And that is something that I will not do. So as always, my study of scripture keeps me firmly within Christ's Church on Earth.
Matthew 16: 14-28
And Jesus came into the quarters of Cesarea Philippi: and he asked his disciples, saying: Whom do men say that the Son of man is? But they said: Some John the Baptist, and other some Elias, and others Jeremias, or one of the prophets. Jesus saith to them: But whom do you say that I am? Simon Peter answered and said: Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answering, said to him: Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven. And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven. Then he commanded his disciples, that they should tell no one that he was Jesus the Christ.
From that time Jesus began to shew to his disciples, that he must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the ancients and scribes and chief priests, and be put to death, and the third day rise again. And Peter taking him, began to rebuke him, saying: Lord, be it far from thee, this shall not be unto thee. Who turning, said to Peter: Go behind me, Satan, thou art a scandal unto me: because thou savourest not the things that are of God, but the things that are of men.
Then Jesus said to his disciples: If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For he that will save his life, shall lose it: and he that shall lose his life for my sake, shall find it. For what doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his own soul? Or what exchange shall a man give for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels: and then will he render to every man according to his works.
Amen I say to you, there are some of them that stand here, that shall not taste death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.
Yes, there will be scandals. Men make mistakes. We have free will. Matthew 18: 7 says:
Woe to the world because of scandals. For it must needs be that scandals come: but nevertheless woe to that man by whom the scandal cometh.This knowledge that did not keep Jesus from founding his Church. He knew that men would fall and that men are imperfect. He knew that Peter would deny him three times. And yet He still founded his Church in this imperfect world to lead the way and teach the truth so that those who sought Him would not be lost.
Because I couldn't find my own pictures this morning (they're all still on disks) today's photo credit goes to this site on flicker.