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  • Writer's pictureShana Ritter

Where do we find the sacred?

Yesterday I visited La Sagrada Familia – the cathedral designed by Gaudi and still under construction. I have been four times in the last 25 years and each time as it reaches closer to completion, I think of the old cathedrals going up. Taking a hundred years from beginning to end, always reaching – always full of alternating noise and clamor, harmonies and silences, seeking to make reverence tangible.

The first time there were catwalks and empty spaces, a skeleton faithfully rising toward sky, now there are stained glass windows and towering columns – and throngs of visitors with various forms of digital cameras, noise and clamor, and harmonies, but no silence.

There was a moment though when I stood below the cobalt light and looked up into a forest of twining visions and all felt hushed. Gaudi said that the book of nature is always opened, and we need to read it daily. The sagrada familia is meant as homage to both nature and the notion of family, an homage to love and awe. In that moment of looking up everything faded away but the arc to heaven that let me know I had entered a sacred space.

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