Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sacred Space: Chartres Cathedral

It's time for another pilgrimage, friends!

This time, we'll visit the great cathedral of Chartres, completed in 1290. (My husband and I visited the cathedral just this summer, while it was undergoing renovations. It's amazing how light the stone became when renovated; it's a completely different space--light and happy. We're looking forward to seeing again some day when the renovations are complete.)

Chartres is famous for its beautiful, old stained glass. Much of it is a gorgeously rich blue color. Besides the lovely colors, the artists creatively portrayed the classic stories of the Bible. One of the most famous windows is called the "Blue Virgin." Below her are panels depicting Christ's temptations and the wedding at Cana. (Isn't it a lovely transformational image? struggle with the shadow → marriage of opposites → wisdom...)

The "Blue Virgin" of Chartres, taken by me

Chartres is also famous for its labyrinth, which visitors can still walk along each Friday in the summer. I love labyrinths, because they symbolize the great faith required in spiritual wandering. As you walk, you wonder, when will I reach the center? But the beautiful thing is, you always do reach the center, the rose of enlightenment. You're never lost.

from the book Alle Tiders Labyrinter, by Jørgen Thordrup, via Lavigne

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