Basilicas and Berlin

Yesterday, November 9th, was the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

688px-Berlin_1989,_Fall_der_Mauer,_Chute_du_mur_18 It was also the celebration of the Lateran Basilica.

How have I never seen the connection? Two physical structures. Two symbols of world views.

According to Whitaker Chambers’ Witness, “The Communist vision is the vision of man without God.” Communism is Man vs. God. Man without God.

What is the significance of the Lateran Basilica? It is the Cathedral of Rome. The symbol of the Church, the Papacy, the Rock, and God’s promise to never leave His Church alone.

Who triumphed over Communism? God. Who will always triumph over evil and man’s pride? God.

The Berlin Wall stood for all the evil of Communism and it fell on the feast of the Lateran Basilica–which stands for God’s Holy Church. How can we take this symbolic correlation into our own life? Listen to the words of St. Caesarius of Arles from yesterday’s Office of Readings:


“My fellow Christians, do we wish to celebrate joyfully the birth of this temple? Then let us not destroy the living temples of God in ourselves by works of evil. I shall speak clearly, so that all can understand. Whenever we come to church, we must prepare our hearts to be as beautiful as we expect this church to be.”


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