I have lots of posts running through my head and not enough time to finish them.... who's great idea was it to have all those kids, anyway? 

Oh, right.

Well since today is the great Feast of the Dedication of St. John Lateran Basilica, I thought I'd share with you a few thoughts I had upon encountering this grand behemoth for the first (and second) time.

To begin, if you're wondering what on Earth that means, celebrating a church building, I'll let the good folks over at Word on Fire tell you all about that since they do a markedly better job that I ever could.  For the record, before I went to the actual building, I had no idea what this feast was all about; mostly because it just seemed like an obscure and distant 'something' about the Church.  My first visit blossomed into a grand, infant love for the building and I dove head first into discovering the treasures she had, yet it still took the second visit for me to fully embrace the significance of this great feast we share as Catholics. 

Front View of St. John Lateran
I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I first crossed the threshold of the magnificent doors in this beauty.  One is greeted with ornate marble floors (as are many of the old churches throughout the world, but I think Italians have a significant flair for giving God glory through Beauty) and a twelve striking statues, each with a relief above the statue and a fresco above that - art in triplicate.

My quilters eye couldn't stop staring at these glorious pattern.
After you finally tear your eyes from the floor, the grand walk, flanked on each side by the incredible statues of each of the Twelve Apostles provide a natural and awe filled contemplation, strolling past and seeing the statues loom over you, challenging you in your faith by their very presence:  Am I willing to walk the walk to share my Beloved like these men were?  Could I be so courageous?  

Up behind me is this lovely piece with the Keys: 

And in front, sitting high in the baldacchino is this: the heads of the Heads of our Church: 

Want to know more?  Check here
Didn't know that?  Don't worry, neither did I
The next thing that captured my attention was this stunning statue - I knew these would be The Twelve depicted, but I couldn't figure out which of the group he was and why, if they are typically embracing the weapon of their martyrdom, this guy was holding fabric.

Until I realized it was St. Bartholomew and it wasn't fabric.
It's his skin.

Ever since that first gasp of recognition, St. Bartholomew has been my guy, the one who is helping me to be more courageous and faithful.  I fell in love with The Twelve more that day (especially St. Bartholomew) and it only continues to grow. 

Around every corner holds a new Treasure and here, up past St. Peter and St. Paul, sits a reliquary of the Table of the Last Supper. 

The wood is behind the 'curtain' - behind the glass with the gold depiction in front of the precious wood.
Our faith is more precious than Gold; our buildings matter.  The greatest gift Our Lord left to us is His Bride.  Today, we celebrate Her Universality and Her buildings that show us, on Earth, where our priorities belong:  Not only to my local Parish, not only to my Diocese, but to The Church and her message across the Globe.  Jesus Christ be praised. 


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