Almost fifteen years ago, after a visit to the former Church of St. Etienne (constructed in the 11th century, it is now a museum), in Beaugency, France, I wrote:
Echoes of voices
Resounding from hard walls
A space full of echoes of life.
An unsmiling woman,
Proud beauty weighed with the cares of years;
Ripe fields, bright flowers –
Echoes of life,
Refracted from eye and hand of artist.
Built for echoes,
Echoes of the unseen,
Heard in water and bread and wine and light,
With a voice that echoed across the centuries
And echoes even now.
Few if any
Hear the ever so soft reverberations,
As they see and feel these new
Echoes of life.
Lent is a time to listen for the echoes, to hear a word (or music) of life in the spaces of our lives that seem empty, perhaps even deserted, spaces that we preserve museum-like, unwilling to fill them but unsure of why we keep them. And in those echoes, one can sometimes experience anew an elusive love, a force that draws us more deeply into the elusive mystery at the heart of life.