Architecture Day

twin towersI was always against the Twin Towers, architecturally speaking.

I thought they looked like the effluvia of an intergalactic spaceship the size of Iowa that had stopped over lower Manhattan to deposit its waste in two briquettes, pinched out squarely from its enormous wrought-iron rectum.

I didn’t like the idea of the Death Star going to the bathroom in the middle of one of our grandest cities of Earth.

That said, when I visited my brother in New York in 2002, and I laid eyes on the lower Manhattan skyline, I was mad as hell. The ugly towers–fixtures of life, my old friends–were gone. The enemy had attacked our home, knocked down our buildings, and killed our people.

new mell naveI still miss the hideous buildings. Isn’t it strange that, after eight years, justice has yet to be done? The perpetrators of the attack went to judgment in the course of their murderous rage, of course. But what about the mastermind? I do not wish him damned; I do not want revenge. But he must face justice.

…I have had the opportunity to kneel and pray a few times in the abbey church of New Melleray, outside Dubuque, Iowa. It is the most peaceful place I have ever been. When I get to heaven, please God, I hope the Lord will let me spend it in this church.

It is simply the most perfect church on earth. But I knew from the first moment I spent there that there was something about the location of its windows that was in fact too perfect to be the result of human design.

new mell sanctuaryIt turns out that the walls of this perfect church were originally built to house a dormitory. It used to be a two-story residence for the monks. Then, when they built other buildings, and completed their cloister, they removed the floor separating the first and the second storeys of this part, and turned it into their church. Amazing.

(N.B. The tabernacle is within the wooden structure behind the altar. This aspect of the church is odd, I grant. I also wish the altar were wider. And of course if the Lord let me spend eternity there, he would also let me say Mass facing east. But the walls and windows are perfect as is.)

NewMellerayAbbey

Rhymes_with_Orange

2 thoughts on “Architecture Day

  1. You are hilarious! A comment was stirring about the word “effluvia”, but just a short sentence later, my eyes ran into pinched waste briquettes! Spending an hour in your brain would be quite an adventure!

    That said, it would be awesome to spend lovely Adoration time in that beautiful church! If it please the Lord, may I be in the congregation when you say Mass facing East.

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