well. today is another day here in spain. classes are done, lunch is eaten, i´m getting ready for a nap. i did some homework last night and went out to meet some friends that decided to change the meeting spot without letting me know. it´s hard when they all live in the dorms and can do that. but since i´m in a family i just go on what we decide at school. oh well, i went to bed early and had some time to journal.
yesterday i took a walk around 7:30 pm. i ended up at the iglesia de santiago near the puerta de bisagra. it happened to be thursday evening mass, so i went in and sat in the last pew. an old lady scooted in next to me a couple minutes later. they were praying several prayers that all ended with the congregation repeating "ora por nosotros" or "pray for us." so it´s obvious we´re asking that to mary. but anyway, i was very surprised that some of the things prayed for where things about the war in iraq, the poor of the streets, those dying without knowing God. throughout the service there was reference after reference to the Son of God and that he is the only way to heaven. that he has pardoned and forgiven us and washed us with his blood. he called us his christian brothers on more than one occasion.
with the smell of insense in the air, the nave rising far above me, and my knees aching from the wooden kneeling bar in front of me, i couldn´t help but understand how close God was to this place. it just felt personal and holy. i really felt closer to God than i have in a long time in that cathedral. i mean, there were images of the cross and christ crucified all over the place. i realized they are not idols or anything of the sort. they helped me focus. a lot. i loved having that figure there on the wall. it was an unforgettable experience and i will definitely return next thursday as well.
things like this are so much bigger than me or than i could ever express or understand. something about the being in europe and the spanish. it was just awesome.