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Italian Ladies in the Rain

These ladies had just left Saturday morning mass, in Naples.  The church where they worship, Pio Monte della Misericordia, dates to about 1678. We were asked to leave the church while Mass was said–for about ten people. Why were we in this little church on a rainy Saturday morning?  Because it houses this painting: Seven Works of Mercy, Caravaggio Yep. Just saying prayers in front of a masterpiece and then …

in which I am revealed as a godless heathen

Caleb and I are in the back of a cab headed to a soccer tournament, early Saturday morning. “Mommy? Have I ever been in a church?” he asks, apropos of precisely nothing. I think to myself that surely he must have been in a church, at some point in his eight years on the planet.  I stall: why? “Well,” he says. “We were looking at an exhibit of chairs and …