There are eighteen churches of various Christian denominations within a mile of my house. Here are numbers sixteen, seventeen, and eighteen, plus one that used to be a church but is no longer, I think. It’s hard to tell.
The principal character in Candide, by Voltaire, is travelling the cruel and savage world when he comes across a land called El Dorado where the people are all happy and the children play with precious stones as though they were simple pebbles because gold and gemstones have no value there. The people live a blissful life, which is in sharp contrast to all the other people Candide meets in the rest of the world.
Candide has a long conversation with the most learned person in the kingdom and at one point asks him if there is any religion in their country. The old man said they worshipped God both night and morning.
Then Candide asked in what manner they prayed to God in El Dorado. ‘”We do not pray to Him,” said the worthy sage; “we have nothing to ask of Him; He has given us all we need, and we return to Him thanks without ceasing.”‘
While taking photos of the many churches in my neighbourhood, I wondered how many of the congregants in the local buildings have nothing to ask of God because He has given them all they need.