There were many highlights over the weekend. The greatest of these was meeting so many parishioners, and celebrating Mass for the first time in four of the seven parish communities.
Try looking at one of these windows at night. Pretty ugly, black panes criss-crossed with lead. But even the first dim rays of dawn reveal the beauty; the colour, the design, the image.
One of my teachers (at the Liturgical Institute in Chicago) Denis McNamara, develops this image reflecting on San Chapelle in Paris:
P.S. A friend (after reading this entry) has just msg’d me to say that Pope Benedict used this image of the stained glass when in the USA. Here is the quote from the pope’s homily in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York.
“The first has to do with the stained glass windows, which flood the interior with mystic light. From the outside, those windows are dark, heavy, even dreary. But once one enters the church, they suddenly come alive; reflecting the light passing through them, they reveal all their splendor. Many writers – here in America we can think of Nathaniel Hawthorne – have used the image of stained glass to illustrate the mystery of the Church herself. It is only from the inside, from the experience of faith and ecclesial life, that we see the Church as she truly is: flooded with grace, resplendent in beauty, adorned by the manifold gifts of the Spirit. It follows that we, who live the life of grace within the Church’s communion, are called to draw all people into this mystery of light.”