Sunday, February 15, 2009

Domus Mea Domus Orationis

About two months ago I had an opportunity to indulge a desire I had to lie flat on my back in the middle of the aisle at church and look at the ceiling. (click on December 6th )

Today, I was given the chance for yet another perspective. This time from the balcony. For a while I was wandering inside the old organ, trying to imagine what it would have been like to be up here when it was in its prime. It made me think of fireworks and how the really big ones can be felt in the chest. Seems to me that the prayers issued forth from those pipes might have once had that same effect. Now, though, I was exploring while listening to the choir director play on the piano below. More than lovely, in its own way...a gentle fullness that somehow enhanced the goodness of being up there alone.

From my journal.."Now at the left of the organ and looking out over the transept--so neat and tidy from up here! Looking up just a couple of feet from where I am now, I am overtaken by the wonder of the sunbeams. Their precision, their intensity! Shafts of light with a beginning and no end, shaped by the windows, diffused into space. Such an amazing thing...that these walls, statues, pews, floors, paintings, have not only absorbed a century and a quarter's worth of singing, petitioning, and proclaiming, but also the light of all those years. It is here, it is a part of my life here. When I take my usual place, I am surrounded by it, without doing anything. When I run a hand over the smoothness of a pillar, I feel it. When I look at the stained glass, I see it. When the congregation sings, I hear it.

When I receive Eucharist, there's a part of me that can taste it. The taste of light that no darkness shall ever overcome."

The two part phrase I used as a title is carved over two doors. Today was the first I'd ever noticed it. At first I thought the Domus was an abbreviated version of Dominus, Lord. A check with the presider of the day, however, corrected that notion. Domus is house. My house, a house of prayer. I find it rather pleasing to know that there are only two letters between House and Lord. And those letters are "in." A word of dwelling, of presence.

Let there be no doubt. There wasn't for me today.

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