Anthony R. Lusvardi, S.J., is studying sacramental theology at the Pontifical Atheneum of St. Anselm in Rome. His short stories and essays have appeared in a number of journals, most recently in Dappled Things and The Dalhousie Review.
I suppose there is a line of thought in Christianity that would equate the cheap and mean with holiness, but somehow Catholicism has always found room for both Michelangelo and Mother Teresa.
The freshness and wonder, the way that what was there before still exists but is now shot through with newness. The city glitters. Why not? Lent is the season of baptismal preparation as much as penance.
Before long I had tears in my eyes—and not from the uneven grooves worn into the wood by pilgrims’ knees. Something about the physical discomfort helped me to focus on the much greater pain Jesus had felt on those same stairs.
The second of Rome’s station churches is dedicated to a soldier-saint, George of Lydda. Soldier-martyrs seem to have left a particular mark on the memory of Roman Christians.