Thursday, April 10, 2014

Thursday of Fifth Week: Papal Audience?

Well today's station church post is not in fact about a station church, because I did not attend the stational Mass this morning.  Instead today was a special day off of class for all the students and faculty who attend the Pontifical Gregorian University (which included me -- the Greg is where I go to school in the city to take my theology classes).  In place of classes, we had an audience with the Holy Father in the Paul VI Audience Hall, which is located just south of St. Peter's basilica.

Sweet!  Also present at this audience were the students and faculty from the Pontifical Biblical Institute (the Biblicum) and the Pontifical Oriental Institute.  These three institutions were grouped together in a Consortium by Pope Pius XI in 1928 and are all Jesuit-owned-and-operated; which helps because Pope Francis himself is a Jesuit.

We all packed in to welcome Francis, whose purpose was to exhort us about the purpose of theological study and the unique opportunity of working and studying at the heart of the Church in Rome.  The things that I took away most from his speech were the pointed references he made to study and prayer.  The pope said--like many have said before him--that theological study is only fruitful when done with a mind open to God on one's knees.  And that's a simple truth that always bears reminding.  Theology is ultimately not the study of an inert thing which we put under a microscope, but of a personal divine Being who we encounter.  And real knowledge of any personal being--whether human, angelic, or divine--only ever comes by way of relationship. 

So there you have it.  If we wanna be knowledgeable in the ways of God, if we wanna know who He is and what He's up to these days, we simply gotta spend some time with Him.  It's great timing to hear this as we're about to enter Passiontide, the holiest week of our entire year!  Let's get ready.

If I can manage it, I'll catch us up tomorrow at least with a few pictures of the Thursday church; it's basically on the walk to school.  If not, then I'll just continue like normal and proceed with the Friday church tomorrow.
Looking toward the back of the hall as everyone is streaming in
Not a horrible view, I'd say!
I took this shot on super digital zoom, so not totally clear, but hey it's still the pope.


  1. what's with that 'Game of Thrones' tree root looking sculpture behind the stage? Any info on that?

    1. It certainly is an interesting piece of art. I don't know much about it, other than that it is called 'The Resurrection' and was completed by the sculptor Pericle Fazzini. The structure is about 75 feet across and is made of brass and bronze.