September 15, 2006
St. Monica chapel
October 28, 2006
The beginnings of the wall which replaces the grey curtin. Behind it 20 side altars remain.
December 1, 2006
The wall is completed; the new marble floor is still to be done.
January 27, 2007
A charcoal drawing of one set of figures for the wall (left of the altar): Elijah and the widow of Sarepta
January 27, 2007
A charcoal drawing of one set of figures for the wall (right of the altar): Christ and the disciples of Emmaus
February 20, 2007 - the day before Ash Wednesday
The mosaic work on the walls begins in earnest
February 27, 2007 - the work is completed - except for the tabernacle
The sermon of Augustine on which this project is based is sermon 239.
Here are some excerpts of the sermon:
1. Today we have heard for yet a third time from the gospel about our Lord's resurrection. . . 2. . . Well, what did Luke say [about the two to whom the Lord appeared on the road]? Their eyes were held, so that they would not recognize him (Lk 24:16). And what did Mark say? He appeared to them in another guise. . So, brothers and sisters, . ., as I imagine you remember from yesterday's reading, . . when he blessed the bread their eyes were opened. . . And so our Lord Jesus Christ is speaking with these men, and he was unknown before bread was broken; in the breaking of bread, he is recognized, precisely because he is perceived where eternal life is received. Welcomed as a guest is the one who is preparing a home in heaven. According to the evangelist John, he says: In my Father’s house, there are many lodgings; if there were not, I would have told you. I will go to prepare a place for you. But if I go and prepare it, I will come again and take you with me (Jn 14:2-3). The Lord of heaven chose to be a guest on earth, a pilgrim in the world, even though he made the world. He agreed to be a guest, so that you might be blessed in welcoming him, not because he was needy when he arrived as a guest.
3. In a time of famine the Lord fed holy Elijah with the help of a crow; birds waited on the one that men persecuted. The crow brought this servant of God bread in the morning and meat in the evening. So the one that God was feeding with the aid of birds was not in need. And yet, even though Elijah was not in need, he is sent to a widow in Zarephath, and told, Go to that widow; she will feed you. Had God run out of resources, so that he had to send Elijah to the widow? Yet, if God were always to provide his servant with bread without any human ministry, how would the widow be cared for, be paid? So, not in need, he is sent to a needy woman; not starving, he is sent to a starving woman, and he says to her, Go, and fetch me something to eat. She had a little that she was going to eat, and then die. She told the prophet how much she had, and the prophet said to her, Go, first bring some to me. She brought it without hesitating; she offered nourishment and earned a blessing. Holy Elijah blessed the jar of flour and the flask of oil. The flour stored in the house was about finished, and the oil flask hanging from its peg was nearly empty; a blessing was added, and those vessels became warehouses. The flask of oil became a well, the bit of flour surpassed fertile fields.
4. If Elijah was not in need, neither was Christ. Thus, my brothers and sisters, holy scripture is reminding us that, although God could feed his servants, he makes them needy so that workers of good may be found. Do not be proud when you give to the poor; Christ was poor. Do not be proud when you welcome a stranger; Christ was a stranger. The one who is welcomed is better than the one who welcomes; the receiver is richer than the giver. The one who received owned everything; the giver had received what he was giving from the one he was giving it to. So let no one be proud, my brothers and sisters, when giving to a poor person. Do not say in your heart, “I am giving, he is receiving; I am giving him a welcome, he is in need of shelter.” Perhaps what you need is more than that. Perhaps the one you are welcoming is a just person; he needs bread, you need truth; he needs shelter, you need heaven; he needs money, you need justice.
7. Perhaps you'll say to me, “Oh, how blessed were those who were worthy to welcome Christ! Oh, if only I had lived at that time! Oh, if only I had been one of those two, whom he found on the road!” Just get on the road; Christ will be your guest. In fact, do you really think that you are not already allowed to welcome Christ? “How,” you say, “am I permitted to do so? He had already risen when he appeared to his disciples, he ascended into heaven where he is at the right hand of the Father; he is not going to come till the last age, to judge the living and the dead; but he will come in splendor, not in weakness, giving kingdom, not seeking hospitality.” Did you not notice what he will say, when he will give kingdom? When you did it to one of the least of mine, you did it to me? That rich man is in need until the end of the world. He is in need, not as head but in his members. Where is he in need? In those in whom he suffered pain, when he said, Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? So let us take care of Christ. He is with us in those who are his, he is with us in ourselves; for some purpose did he say, Behold, I am with you until the consummation of the world (Mt 28:20). By acting in accord with this, we recognize Christ in good works, with the heart rather than with the body, with the eyes of faith, rather than with the eyes of the body. Because you have seen, you have believed, he said to an incredulous disciple who had said, I will not believe, unless I touch. And the Lord said, Come, touch, and stop being incredulous. He touched, and he cried out, My Lord and my God! And the Lord said, Because you have seen me, you have believed; that is the whole of your faith, that you believe what you can see. I praise those who do not see, and yet believe; because when they see, they will rejoice.
March 1, 2007 - Cleaning begins
still waiting for the tabernalce
Notice, too, the addition of a church mouse at the feet of St. Augustine.
He is reading a book - he must be an Augustinian novice at prayer . . .
Fr. Rupnik's assistants wanted to add this tiny figure - a "signature" !
March 3, 2007 - shortly before the dedication of the altar - August 2007 pictures