Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Kazan Cathedral, St. Petersburg, Russia
I felt sanctity in this church. I enjoyed the long line of worshippers waiting to kiss the icon of the Mother and Child. I liked the quiet ones standing prayerfully before other icons. I believe that the more a church becomes a place of tourism, state functions and ‘spiritual consumerism’, the less it expresses a special wavelength of "worship”. It’s never extinguished but the ‘noise’ makes it that much harder to hear the ‘wee small voice’.
Worship is a celebration of the highest whereas consumerism is of this world. Each has it’s place. There is merit even for the church. But I’d rather there were times, as at a swimming pool, for ‘water polo events' or those who just like visit swimmings pools just to 'look', and those who ‘love to swim’ and those who really like to 'dive into the deep end.'
This feeling or intuition I so enjoy experiencing in churches is like a celestial spiritual sound my own soul seems tuned to. Naturally I feel the same elsewhere such as at beautiful places in nature, especially near dawn. At such times I experience a sense of awe.
To those who don't experience this I expect it must be a bit like missing a colour in the spectrum. Unless or until they experience it they don’t really know they’re missing that particular colour of blue. God knows, there’s so much I miss and only learn later. To me this is all important though. I liken it to the appreciation a pianist for their fingers or for the ability to hear the sounds in a symphony.
Whether I experience this at different times in different churches may just be the product of the group dynamic. Perhaps there's some collective prayer or worship experience that leads to the 'quantum leap of faith'. If there are too many people focussed more on the 'gold' than the 'jewels' , it doesn't happen.
I’d like to think that millions over the hundreds of years worshipping at shrines on the holy ground where they are consecrated pick up some special ‘vibe’ of the human hearts yearning. I like churches. I feel just visiting churches is good, like drinking cool mountain spring water.
I buy candles and burn them. Mostly I pray for my parents. I don’t really tend to ‘ancestor worship’ but so often in the quiet and reverence , my thoughts wander to mom and dad, now dead. More and more I find myself wanting to be the man they believed I could be. Often that thought only comes as I light the candle. I’ve been reciting Psalm 23 more of late too.