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August/September 2010

City on a Hill

THE EDITOR

Among the mosaics which adorn the Blessed Sacrament Chapel in Westminster Cathedral is the image of a great basilica perched on a rocky hilltop. Positioned on the back wall above the altar, several waterfalls cascade down the rugged slope towards the tabernacle below.

This dual depiction instills confidence, gratitude and awe. On the one hand, the Church is seen on high as a bastion: a hallowed City unassailable from the sodomites and fornicators and murderers and idolaters and everyone who makes and loves lies, who roam outside her gates, raging against Christ and His Vicar on earth [Apoc. 22:15]. On the other, as a sacramental fount of grace and  mercy poured out as liberating balm for our wounded souls. Indeed, one can prayerfully imagine the redemptive waterfalls bursting through the tabernacle and beyond the Chapel to the far corners of benighted England; a divine flood to fill the spiritual void and wash away its infernal Reformation legacy.

As the bigots bay for Catholic blood and the Liberal pigeons come home to roost, we should meditate frequently on the supernatural fact of this salvific fortress: the spotless Bride of Christ, outwardly disfigured by the filth of sinful churchmen yet never sullied; ever immaculate. For neither Modernist defilement nor the anti-Catholic agitprop of Whig pseudo-history can veil this inherent strength and splendour.

Perceived by truth-seekers in every age - kings, clerics and laymen alike - it dazzled and won the Anglo-Protestant Newman, who waxed lyrical in defence of the pristine Roman reality. It was the object of the impossible dream he dared to foster in this vale of tears; the miraculous goal for which he suffered and prayed and now intercedes in the heavenly court: a Second Spring of English hearts and minds united in the Old Faith, all raised up, as one, to that unyielding, holy, Catholic City set upon a hill.

 

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