.

GRACE

  1. a: unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification b: a virtue coming from God c: a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine grace
  2. a: APPROVAL, FAVOR b: MERCY, PARDON c: PRIVELEGE d: disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency e: REPRIEVE

REVERENCE

  1. :honor or respect felt or shown : DEFERENCE; especially : profound adoring awed respect
  2.  :a gesture of respect (as a bow)

I know that God is no more or less near to a the grandeur of one of these cathedrals than to a cardboard box of a beggar:

“Yet the Most High does not dwell in houses made by hands, as the prophet says, ‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me, says the Lord, or what is the place of my rest? Did not my hand make all these things?'” ACTS 7:48-50

and yet I can’t help but feel a different state of being nearer to tying these two concepts of “reverence” + “grace” together standing small in front of one. It may be complete naïveté. I’m not marred by anything associated with them. That probably helps. I’m drawn to heavy stone and what I’m guessing was numerous sets of hands patiently lifting years of work, all striving for what I’m hoping was solely the worship of God. It didn’t happen overnight. Cathedrals seem to have been dreamt up ideas impregnated with a gestation period begging for dedication that far exceeds anything I’ve ever known. Am I over-romanticizing these beautiful beasts? Maybe. I’m in search for any that could welcome me in without some formal program prying its old creaky doors open. Downtown Rochester on a sunny Saturday afternoon didn’t usher me in to any of them.

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