There is a silence in cathedrals that I have found nowhere else. Enter and find yourself alone, whether others are there or not, it doesn’t matter. There can be ambient noise, but the stones seem to absorb that sound, allowing those who visit and those who worship simply to be still. “Be still and know I am God” (Psalm 46:10).
This is the gift offered to everyone who enters through the doors of a cathedral. When you step into St. Paul’s in Rome or Cathedrale Ste. Marie, St. Bertrand de Comminges (Haute-Garonne), a living silence enters you. Perhaps this is the embrace of God, offered freely to all who enter. A gift, a call to contemplation. Within these churches is a world set apart, beyond the din of daily life, where in silence the heart can hear.
Could this be the mystery of why these buildings still speak to so many who visit? Many enter without faith, but they leave with a sense of “other,” something beyond their lives, something that has endured and shall continue to endure. They have been touched by silence. The silence of God.
If you are interested in seeing more of these images, please see the Via Lucis website.