A Sense of Awe (Reverend Casey Roberts)


(The following is a guest post from Reverend Casey Roberts, founder of the Interfaith Roundtable in Branford, Connecticut).

Art that endures is art that crystallizes a fragment of the human experience and distills for us an aspect of our nature that is known by every heart. Art that endures communicates beyond words, is not bound by culture or time, but touches a place in us that is both universal and eternal. It doesn’t teach as much as it allows us to remember. And what we remember comes back to us like a beautiful song, long forgotten.

Basilique Saint-Julien de Brioude, Brioude (Haute-Loire) Photo by Dennis Aubrey

When we enter a church, mosque, temple or cathedral, we enter a place that allows us to remember the genesis of that song. We enter a space that exists around us, and at the same time compels us to go deeper within. We enter a space that engenders a sense of awe that enlivens our soul and rekindles our memory of its Source. We are reminded that we are in the Presence of the Creator.

Notre Dame d'Orcival, Orcival (Puy-de-Dôme) Photo by PJ McKey

The beauty and majesty of medieval churches and cathedrals can be described as “art that endures.” What we feel in the twenty-first century as we enter those spaces is akin to what was felt by those who entered in the twelfth century, and what will be felt by those who will enter in the years to come. What is crystallized for us is our awareness of That which is so far greater than ourselves. What is distilled for us is our awe of That to which we are eternally connected. What is remembered is the knowledge that I am That.

6 responses to “A Sense of Awe (Reverend Casey Roberts)

  1. What a wonderful way to start a Sunday! Rev. Roberts captures the essence of enduring art juxtaposed to magnificent photography. The beauty in the words and photos resonate a deeper experience than either can achieve standing alone. This is the beauty of pure relationship, creation, and sharing. Thank you.

  2. So beautifully and truthfully put!!!! I Really enjoyed this and found it so inspiring. Food for the soul. Thank you!

  3. Hi Casey,
    How your work does manage to touch my soul! Just beautiful…thank you so much. Coincidentally, I am in the middle of reading Ken Follett’s The Pillars of the Earth. It takes place in the 16th century and is about one man’s dream to build a cathedral in spite of all odds. The pictures and words that make up your essay help me to very powerfully put myself into that story and helps make the building of such a grand edifice by such remarkable men really come alive for me! What perfect timing! Love, Darlene
    (It occurs to me that perhaps I should have posted this on the blog!)

  4. Casey – many thanks for sharing this information and beautiful pictures with me. I enjoyed it very much. Astrid

  5. Rev. Casey, thanks for letting me know of this site; the photography is inspiring, artistic and arouses humility in my spirit; Not just photographs, they are pieces of art themselves. While in Italy, I saw some small churches, one in medieval San Gimignano and another in Positano. It was at these churches that I connected to the past- my past- so strongly. Very moving and settling.

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