It is a noble room, but it does not belong to a palace; it is distinctly sacral, and yet not a chapel. In this atmosphere one feels joy, without hearing laughter; there is light without exaggeration, a beauty that does not turn the spirit from the most elevated thoughts.
Comfortable armchairs encourage a conversation that never begins, for a profound silence reigns there. A great number of people discreetly visit it, without detracting from the atmosphere of recollection.
What place are we talking about? With the photos that illustrate these pages, the suspense is lifted and it is not difficult to guess… Does the reader agree with the above description?
And if we pause for a moment to reflect on our impressions, we may conclude that there could be no more fitting setting for an excellent library – a repository for thousands of books brimming with lessons in history, culture and knowledge.
If it is always desirable to have a suitable space to carry out any activity, with all the more reason is it appropriate to have a specific place to feed our knowledge!
The functionalist vision of today’s society considers libraries as buildings or rooms where collections of books, periodicals and other documents are deposited and conveniently catalogued. The aim is not only to keep the valuable collection organized, but also protected from humidity, fire, moths, and theft, among other perils. These are all important objectives, but should they be the only ones?
Modern libraries usually carry out their practical mission well; however, they neglect a far superior aspect. A library should be a place where our mind can put into play the intellectual capacities that God gave us when He created us and, above all, a place where heavenly spirits dwell, attracted by the nobility of the ambience.
Between Angels and men there are enormous differences, both as regards nature and capacity to act on the supernatural plane, but we share one point in common: reason. Obviously the angelic intelligence far surpasses that of mortals. But this affinity existing between such diverse creatures was for some reason desired by the Most High.
Therefore, an archetypal library should aim not only to be functional, but to comfort the soul that yearns to ascend to the lofty heights of wisdom. Its beauty should be of a calibre to attract our “brother” Angels.
What a benefit! Besides enriching our culture, by spending time in such a place we will strengthen our ties with the heavenly legions. And the simple or complex studies that we carry out in it will easily become much more sublime and supernatural. Indeed, the essence of prayer consists not in reciting long invocations, but in elevating the mind to God. ◊