Wednesday, May 26


This Fellow Needs to Get Out a Bit More

From Balkan Ghosts, Robert D. Kaplan, p. 122:
In the cathedral lay the reputed bones of St. [Paraskeva] in a gold coffin whose lid was open. I watched a throng of Romanians wait in line to touch and kiss the skeleton. What struck me was the fervor and terror of the faces waiting in line. Not merely were the people repeatedly crossing themselves but they were doing so with knees on the floor, and some of them were sweating profusely. They were truly drenched in sweat, even though the air felt cooler in the cathedral than outside. Several worshippers scribbled notes to the saint--but not just one note. Each supplicant seemed to be writing as fast and intensely as he or she could, note after note after note. Only in Shiite holy places in the Middle East had I experienced such a charged and suffocating religious climate, rippling with explosive energy.
After reading this, speaking as a Catholic nerd, I was tempted to add, "Or as we call it around here, just another Tuesday afternoon."

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