........from my reading last night. I am almost finished with Helena by Evelyn Waugh.
Constantine has packed up and left Rome, going off to "start fresh" and build a new city of God (and himself)--Constantinople. Helena, his mother, has stayed behind in Rome, and is speaking to Pope Sylvester:
"I don't like new things," said Helena. "No one does in the land I come from. I don't like Constantine's idea of a New Rome. It sounds so empty and clean, like the newly swept house in the Gospel that was filled with devils."
The were getting along together famously, these two admirable old people. Helena had stayed behind after Constantine's departure, and the pope had seemed to expect it.
"You can't just send for peace and wisdom, can you?" Helena continued, "and build houses for them and shut them in. Why, they don't exist at all except in people do they? Give me the real bones every time.
I like this. It is exactly my sense of the Church. Dusty, messy, unkempt in some places. Needing some changes. But THERE. Existing. Holding the "real bones." Not started afresh by someone who had a better idea. Not a sterile McMansion somewhere gated away from the rest of the world.
The Church has nooks and crannies everywhere. Odd little rooms of differing devotions and prayers. And Lord knows, she has stables that need cleaning out. But I prefer her, with her "real bones" to any new place I've ever seen.