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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Michelangelo Buys Figs, parts 1839 - 1842

1839. I had no intention of entering the church, but now I felt that I would hurt its feelings if I just ignored the obvious invitation, so I entered the church, and had to wait for a minute or two for my eyes to adjust to the near pitch blackness of the interior, lit only by faint light from some dust covered clerestory windows somewhere high at the back of the nave.

1840. Once my eyes adjusted and I could see clearly, I was delighted to see that the structures interior had not been subjected to the careless and tasteless “improvements” that the exterior had suffered. I am not going to attempt to describe for you the interior of the church; words can’t convey the impression of the details, or of the entirety.

1841. There are church interiors in which, from the first moment one feels an unexpected spiritual serenity, which settles on a modern personality so unfamiliar with the sensation. All of the religious platitudes that for so many years one has been accustomed to dismiss with contempt suddenly stir in the back of ones mind. The devout are often faced with experiences that makes them suspect that religion is all a sham, but …

1842. But the agnostic and the atheist is confounded by a reverse sensation, an experience that forces one to understand that God does indeed exist and has no need of either your prayers, your attentions, of your faith. Such then is the effect of a fine church interior, it compels you to believe in God even against your will, if only for the few moments that you are standing there, your heart and mind hijacked by some artists and architects long since dead.

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