Monday, June 12, 2006

Ah, Montserrat!

You just have to break down and go to this place some day. It's one of those holy places to which Christians have been trekking for over a thousand years.

The Madonna of Montserrat is seated and her face has turned black. The people come from all over Spain - and the world - to climb up the steps over the main altar to venerate the statue and place themselves under her care. It's lovely and childlike and I know is one of the reasons the world hasn't been turned over to the demons.

We stayed for a night in the hotel on the grounds of the monastery. Very cool. (Thanks, Karen.) Of course, the fact that we were overnight retreatants did not sto the annoyed Benedictine priest from tossing us out of the Basilica promptly at 8:30pm. They don't believe in keeping churches open in Europe. When they want to eat or siesta, the churches close.

Karen kept saying that it would be a good idea to plan any spiritual crises around the hours convenient to the European eating and napping schedule.