When she heard mass in the Lateran Basilica -- as she often did in preference to her private chapel -- she went without ostentation and stood simply in the congregation. She was in Rome as a pilgrim and she was surrounded by friends. There was no way of telling them. There was nothing in their faces. A Thracian or a Teuton might stop a fellow countryman the streets, embrace him, and speak of home in his own language. Not so Helena and the Christians. The intimate family circle of which she was a member bore no mark of kinship. The barrow man grilling his garlic sausages in the gutter, the fuller behind his reeking public pots, the lawyer or the lawyer's clerk might each and all be one with the empress dowager in the Mystical Body. And the abounding heathen might in any hour become one of with them. There was no mob, only a vast multitude of souls, clothed in a vast variety of body, milling about in the Holy City, in the See of Peter.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Ain't Waugh Wonderful?
One of my favourite passages from his Helena: