Crossing the Threshold (PJ McKey)


Nowhere is the passage of humanity more apparent than in the worn stone thresholds and weathered wooden doors of these churches. I am fascinated by these entrances, these invitations. First, I am always struck by the contrast of the wood against the frame of stone. Wood is a vulnerable humble medium, prey to disease and the ravages of time. It seems an appropriate metaphor for those who pass through to the promise of something eternal reflected in the stone.

Notre Dame de l'Assomption (Saint-Féliu-d'Amont)

These doors are a beautiful and extraordinary combination of artistry and practicality. Like everything in the churches, they are a testament to the craftsmen who understood the essence of their creations. This is not just a door. This is the door to God’s house. This door is an equalizer. Inside we are all God’s children and nothing more – and certainly nothing less.

Chapelle de la Trinite (Prunet-et-Belpuig)

The stone threshold, slowly eroded by a river of feet, bears witness to our passing. So many have come here. I am moved by the realization of these thousands as I enter the flow of time, my steps mingling with theirs. I wonder about the heavy step or the light step, the need that has brought them here. Perhaps it’s a crisis or just a need to experience the beauty and wonder this church. As we step through the portal from west to the east, there is the chance for transformation, moving from chaos to order, into sanctuary. No matter our purpose, this place can offer refuge.

Chapelle de Peyrusse (Peyrusse)

In that moment, right before opening the door, I am full of anticipation at what might be discovered. Pushing through the door, that worthy watchman, I am aware that anything might be possible here. This is what the others must have felt; the builders, the clergy, the congregation and all of us in the many centuries since. That anticipation, that hope, is what I want to capture with the camera

If you are interested in seeing more of these images, please see the Via Lucis website.

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