I admire the simple faith of these monks - but there's a possible catch.
The Cambodian Buddhist community in Rochester (Minnesota) is abuzz over what they believe is a miracle: a wasp nest in the shape of a seated Buddha built in the eaves of their temple. The nest was spotted last week. Elder members of the community say they have never seen an apparition of the Buddha in their lifetimes.
Seventy-year-old Voeun Sor of Rochester says the hive shows the Buddha is trying to tell everybody to seek peace in their lives.
Robert Jeanne is an entomology professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He says the Buddha-shaped hive could actually be four different nests formed over a couple of years. He says if someone wants to read miracles into that, that's their privilege.
Moeun Ngop is a 76-year-old monk. He has a more mystical take. He says the insects are trying to communicate Buddha's message.
Err . . . Brother Ngop, I hate to be the one to break this to you, but you're in the USA now, not Cambodia.
In this country, the word 'wasp' can stand for 'White Anglo-Saxon Protestant'. Therefore, are these insects a subtly Divine call for conversion?
(Note that in the interests of ecumenical dialog, I'm not saying who should convert to what! The thought of a bunch of East Coast bigwig Ivy League WASP's shaved bald, wearing orange robes, begging for their breakfast, and ringing prayer bells, is rather fetching!)