Regarding historic Catholic sites in the French countryside, I observed a studied contrast between the authority of that religion’s past and the present day husk of former religious practice and influence. The poetic interior beauty of a cathedral or country church, with the only visitor one’s self, amid dusty stone, cool stagnant air, and filtered light from high windows, lends a solemnity and deserted aspect to these consecrated spaces. In decline as they appear, more monument than active spaces of worship, they invite comparison to the timeless and contemplative beauty of graveyards. Both places raise the important subjects of questions: the afterlife, the meaning of existence, the seeming permanence of death, the moral imperative of life. 
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