Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Glasgow Cathedral (1197) ~ July 2006


Raised and/or befriended by agnostics, Catholics, Protestants and Jews, it has forever been my fate to stand amid the tensions linking disparate faith communties. On Iona, I was constantly aware that I prayed in the ruins of a Catholic community destroyed by Reformation Presbyterians and then 500 years later recovered and rebuilt by a Protestant community. The Glasgow Cathedral is the only one on mainlaind Scotland left completely intact in the wake of the Reformation chaos that produced my own Presbyterian church. (The Glasgow Cathedral is Church of Scotland today.) In the cemetery above it, the words below a towering statue of John Knox, Reformation leader of the Protestant church in Scotland, attest to the torture and incineration of Protestants by Catholics during that period of unrest. Neither side, to put it mildly, emerges without blemish.

A cathedral, on its best days, is a haunting blend of light and shadow, reflecting perfectly, it seems, the community of Christ both then and now.

9 comments:

Quotidian Grace said...

I visited the Glascow Cathedral about 4 years ago and was struck by how much it resembled the Catholic cathedrals of Europe. It's hard to imagine how it is used today for C of S church services! The stained glass windows were magnificent.

Your photo is great!

Songbird said...

Gannet girl, welcome to RevGalBlogPals! I was so tickled to see you on the applicant list!

Carol said...

the play of light is beautiful.

Kathryn said...

That picture is stunning. The light and shadows illuminate the cathedral and transform it.

Light and shadows is a good way to describe my religious life right now. I'm changing churches - same denomination but different community. There is hope and much sadness.

Cynthia said...

You are such a talented photographer! When I saw this picture, I immediately felt reverent, and your words were such a complement.

Lisa :-] said...

Amen to that...

Lovely picture. :-]

Paul said...

Knox's gravesite below Edinburgh Castle is paved over into a parking space. The indignity is well deserved by this most treacherous of "reformers".

Steve Bogner said...

Our Christian history certainly has some violence in it, and that is regrettable.

LightYears2Venus said...

And YOUR reflection is perfect--brilliant. I suppose the same could be said of a mosque.
*debbi*