'You spend a great deal of time in the catacomb,' I said, 'What impressed you most?'Isn't that a lovely image? A troopship filled with confident occupants? I want to keep that in mind when I encounter such situations. I want that faith and trust with which those ancient Christians bade farewell to their loved ones.
'Well,' he replied, 'though I am asked a hundred questions every day, no one has ever asked me that! I can tell you without pausing to think: it is the atmosphere of utter faith and complete trust.'
We walked up into the daylight.
'I sometimes think,' he said, as if to himself, 'that the world today, with its materialism, is much like the Roman world of today, with its materials, is much like the Roman world of centuries ago. When I go down into the catacomb, I am in touch with a faith that could move mountains.'
The atmosphere, as the Father had said, is one of faith and trust. The epitaphs carved on the tombs are happy and confident, as if the dead were waving goodbye and smiling as they left for a journey. The worlds 'rest' and 'sleep' are everywhere. I could not remember having once seen that word 'farewell' which sighs its hopeless way through all pagan cemeteries. As I remembered the dark galleries, the image came into my mind of a troopship in the dark, with its rows of bunks, their occupants sleeping, confidently awaiting the light of a new day.
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Well Said: Christian Soldiers Waiting the Light of Day
It's still H.V. Morton but today I've got something more inspirational than the previous tidbits. He's finishing a visit to the catacombs with the priest who showed him around.