Thursday, August 25, 2011

Adios Espana

Reflection by David

I am sitting on the plane, writing this. Our journey, a pilgrimage not a vacation, is coming to an end, and we are returning home to our friends and loved ones to share our experiences.

How do I summarize all that we have seen, done and felt in the last several days? Its not easy, we've experienced a lot.

Cathedrals, basilicas, and churches of many kinds
We celebrated Mass everyday, and never in the same place twice. Many times it was in an art-filled Basilica or Cathedral, but sometimes it was in a hotel meeting room or even outdoors. This size of the congregation varied from 25 to 1 million+ people, but God's presence was felt strongly at each one.

This was more of a challenge that I expected. While there were small restaurants everywhere in Madrid, the menus did not exactly appeal to our hamburger and pasta loving youth. The adults had likes and dislikes as well. But by the middle of week one we learned to adjust and compromise. Everyone ate well, one way or another. And we drank lots of water.

A country with lots of beauty on the "inside." While the outdoor architecture in Madrid and Barcelona is very impresive, the most overwhelming architecture is inside the many cathedrals and basilicas. Father Matt told us that people are like M&Ms or letters: The best part is on the inside. I think the best part of Spain is on the inside as well; inside their churches, which show the love and devotion of the Spanish people for the Catholic faith.

One thing that I got from this pilgrimage is a better understanding of the church and especially the Virgin Mary. Spain has a very special relationship with Mary, and she became a central theme for the entire trip.

She has inspired beautiful works of art throughout the country and the Spanish speaking world. And we were privileged to view a few of them.

Editors Note: More of David's insights will be posted later.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you ALL for your postings that kept us up to date with your pilgrimage. Thank you for all of your prayers and mass offerings. We kept all of you in our prayers here as well. Welcome home, and thanks be to God for your safe return.

    John C.