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A few years ago, I had the opportunity to visit the mission at San Juan Capistrano in Southern California. Currently, the ruins of the chapel are located within a quiet but densely populated township. While visiting, I saw some old photographs of the mission when it was newly constructed. It occurred to me that this was built in the Wild West and I imagined all of the things the men would have been praying for. When I walked into one of the chapel annexes, I saw a stone carving of a kneeling monk at the front of an alter. I immediately saw myself as one of the cowboys working the lands 100 years before, coming into this calm sanctuary only to find a statue of a monk. I realized that praying to a stone man would be the last thing on my mind. Perhaps along with the men’s prayerful thoughts, they secretly prayed for companionship and tenderness from a beautiful woman.

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