The Church Alive and Well in Spain – in some places

The last few days have been a long walk through wheat fields in the hot sun interrupted every now and than by a small village and the rare town of some size (think 5000 people – so not so big). The one thing they all have in common is the presence of a church. In fact most have a couple and I have even walked through a town of very few residence but with 7 – YES 7, large and beautiful churches. The other day over dinner a Canada whom I have spent some time with said, “Did you ever think you would find yourself saying?” – “oh look another medieval church – yawn?”
When I first got to Spain I was not sure I would have enough time to walk to Santiago seeing as I was taking out my camera every 5 minutes to take a picture of one more church or religious relic or statue, seemingly in the middle of nowhere. Spain is a beautiful country full of amazing history, scenery, good food, better wine and loud fast talking people, but most of all it is a country deeply steeped in its Christian history. Some of this history is good and some not so. This is the country that birthed the Jesuits but also the inquisition.
Spain is a country of faith, at least historic if not front and center in it present.
The reality is, that most of these amazing churches and cathedrals that I have past are somewhere between historic ruins and museums full of priceless art, religious artifacts and spectacular, if not a little dark for my theological taste, architecture/statuary.
This day was different. As I write this, I am sitting outfront of a cafe/bar enjoying a beer and some olives in the town square of Carrion De Los Condes, a town with 3 active convents/monasteries, a couple of churches (one of which, Iglesia de Sta. Maria del Camino is a thriving parish), and a new and very large parochial school with teenaged boys playing football/soccer on a very well equipped field. I fact Carrion De Los Condes has five good sized pilgram’s hostels all either run by a convent or the local Church.
At home and in Spain at times it may feel as if religion and faith might be a relic of the past but when we allow God to be fully manifested in our lives in the here and now, it can still lift the hearts of the weak, give rest to to the weary, hope to the hopeless and joy to us all.

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2 thoughts on “The Church Alive and Well in Spain – in some places

  1. Hi Bob: Had no idea you were doing this, how fabulous. You will have lots to tell us at Peaks, and I’m a good listener! God Bless and safe travels. Mary

  2. Very good blog entry. Thought provoking. Why alive and active one place and merely a relic someplace else? Merely a few miles away. Sounds like the basis of a sermon.

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