Following my day in Zaragoza, I stayed the night in Logrono, and walked a short 8 miles to Navarette. Before retreating to La Sombra del Laurel, a wonderful little inn, I stumbled on an open church, a rare find for me on the Camino as many are closed during the day.
It’s the Church of the Ascension. To be honest, without a guide to share history with me as I walk through most ancient sacred spaces, much of the beauty and symbolism is lost on me. Not so today.
The main Altar area was lit up from floor to ceiling. While the rest of the church was fairly dark, the altar spoke volumes.
Yes, it was adorned with saint statues, gold leaf for 5 stories, and figurines too many to count.
But I was struck by something else. Something un-see-able, but not un-nameable. It’s as though the spirits of all the craftsmen and women who made this place possible over a 250 year period, had left their happy hearts behind.
Sometimes majesty is overwhelming. But the physicality of this grand Altar was outmatched by the hearts who created it in love, and in praise of God.
There was no boasting, only humble pride. There was no monument to themselves. Only a testimony to love’s outpouring through the work.
I sat and gazed, like a Vizio Divina, if you will.
And instead of trying to interpret the space, I let down my guard long enough for the space to interpret me.
It brought me to tears.
Altars don’t do that for me.
The Church of the Ascension did so today.