Wednesday, October 8, 2008

sacred space

My sister and I visited the Baltimore Basilica last week. The cathedral is majestic without being pretentious and lovely without being precious. I did not post any pictures of the high altar or the stations of the cross, as those are indeed special. One should see them in person. The above mural is the ascension of Christ painted on the small dome over the high altar. To me, it is so perfect in every way. Looking at it, I knew real hope in the promises of God.

I pause when I think how many people pass through and light a candle. Each candle represents someone's prayer - regret for the past or thankfulness for the present or hope for the future. I lit a candle, too.

That is the Papal umbrella on the left there.

The large dome in the center has a carving of the Holy Spirit as a dove. Each little flower there is actually carved, not just painted. Amazing!

Beneath the church is a crypt and a chapel. The brick arches which support the church are visible and although it is only 200 years old, the feeling is much older. Down one shadowy aisle stands this statue of Christ the man. I lack the words to express my thoughts and feelings about this statue and it's placement in the church. The overall effect was rather profound for me. I certainly do not want to plunge right over the deep end on my blog (which is supposed to be about cooking after all!) but I realized looking at that statue that I have indeed been too casual or perhaps cavalier with God. I intend to be more... well, more intentional!

This is a shot looking up the columns on the portico with one of the small domes and the cross atop it visible. What a gorgeous, perfect day!

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