Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Loving our fair city

I spent a day last week up at Richmond Hill- which is a spiritual retreat center in Church Hill with an unbelievable view overlooking the city. I was able to spend about 3 hours in the Cupula which is a tiny room on top of the building with lots of windows that overlook the city. It was a great place to read and pray. While reading up there I came across one of my favorite sections of Chesterton's Orthodoxy. I have changed the city word here to Richmond. This is how it read to me...Check it out:

“It is not enough for a man to disapprove of Richmond: in that case he will merely cut his throat and move to (Chelsea). Nor, certainly, is it enough for a man to approve of Richmond, for then it will remain Richmond, which would be awful. The only way out of it seems to be for somebody to love Richmond: to love it with a trascendental tie and without any earthly reason. If there arose a man who loved Richmond, then Richmond would rise into ivory towers and golden pinnacles; Richmond would attire herself as a woman does when she is loved...Go back to the darkest roots of civilization and you will find them knotted around some sacred stone or encircling some sacred well. People first paid honor to a spot and afterwards gained glory for it. Men did not love Rome because she was great. She was great because they had loved her.”

For me, I need to see Richmond this way. I hope all of us love our cities with that kind of transcendental love.