Fragments of Light

Sacred Space ​and the Apprehension of Meaning, Part Two

A church is a recognition, in stone and wood and brick, of spiritual awakenings. It nods, to each individual person. If the building has been created within a cultural and religious tradition, it constitutes a collective memory of spiritual insights, of thousands of mystical moments. A church reminds us of what we have known. And it tells us that the possibility of the door swinging open again remains.
—Margaret Viss​e​r, The Geometry of Love, Space,Time, Mystery and Meaning in an Ordinary Church

It is interesting to note that no word of explanation, accompanying text, or lecturer at the podium is necessary for a faithfully inhabited house of worship to speak to those who enter it. Certainly this is God’s business; God, to whom the very stones will cry out were all else silent​. When we intentionally house the mystical in our own work we may also serve the viewer/listener/reader by not only providing the doors in but by also standing back a bit from the threshold to allow those doors to swing open whither they will.
​Comments welcome​.

2 thoughts on “Sacred Space ​and the Apprehension of Meaning, Part Two

  1. “When we intentionally house the mystical in our own work” God, who was all the while working out His purpose in it, ends up being glorified because of it, no matter how or what are the end results. Someone somewhere in God’s time, will see, understand and enjoy one of His many messages.
    A small event happened recently to convey the truth of this for me. Having recently published a thin volume of my poetry and photographs intended as gifts for family and friends only, one friend who requested a copy, indicated that she’d found the booklet so inspirational and contemplative that she’d felt closer to God because of it.
    It was tremendously thrilling to hear this news. I’d no idea, when I was composing the poems and then putting the booklet together, that God could be glorified in all the angst of my poems and the care and the prayerfulness with which I’d taken to choose appropriate photos to accompany them.
    It seems to me that God can and does use anything and anyone and any situation to draw closer to us and us closer to Him. Hallelujah.

    1. Good for you, Kathleen for pressing through the “angst”.

      In her inaugural address at the opening of the Rothko chapel, Dominique de Menil quoted Mark Rothko as saying, ” A picture lives by companionship, expanding and quickening in the eyes of the sensitive observer. It dies by the same token. It is therefore risky to send it out into the world.”

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