Ma, I'm on top of the World!
It is late Wednesday evening and the feast of the Summer solstice is in full swing. From my balcony room at the Jesuit Retreat center overlooking the Cardoner River and the Sawtooth Mountains, there is a smell of gunpowder in the air. Fireworks, M-80’s and what sounds like, mortar rounds are exploding on the other side of the river. From my window it looks as if a small fire has started behind some apartment blocks. The cops and the fire brigade siren-ed (if there is such a word) by on the highway opposite the river. The moon is almost full and the celebration continues. What a beautiful evening.

Now the fireworks start. Ooo….ahhhh…meanwhile before we got to Manresa,we went to the Tibidabo mountain to check out Sacred Heart Church (Old and New). The two churches are built one on top of the other. Absolutely spectacular view of Barcelona to the Sea and everything in-between. What a sight! The kids thought it was awesome also. We sang in the Gothic style church. It was beautiful. They sang “Ubi Caritas” which means ‘where there is love, there is God.” The notes just soared into the highest vault of the building. Quite nice indeedy so.

Next adventure was to circle the La Sagrada Família, a cathedral under construction for over a hundred years. Every time I see it, it gets more and more beautiful. It was designed by Gaudi a visionary architect and artist. (Fun Fact from Robby: we get our English word Gaudy from Gaudi’s name…so now you know) Using his plans generations have added to it. I don’t think I have ever seen a picture of the Church without the building cranes. While I was trying to get an artistic shot I stepped in dog poop. Oh well not everything is beautiful and there is a price to pay. Sort of stunk up the bus a bit.

We let the kids roam the central city for about three hours in groups and had them back on the bus by three for the journey to Manresa and the Jesuit Retreat center. We arrived a little after 4 and settled in. Dinner had been moved up from 6 till 8.15 pm. so we decided to have our group meeting at around 7. I think the process went well, we talked about how we were feeling at this moment and to pinpoint one or two highlights of the last week in Rome. Some of the comments were very touching and moving. It is all about the music and about the group. I am beginning to think that they “get it” about the talent they give away to people. The comments about the relationship of one to another was also spot on. It happens.

Dinner was great, sausages, salad, bread, pudding…mmmm I love Jesuit food. When kids are fed they are happy campers. Tonite they were. I’m glad I am here to witness this event…not dinner…the concerts and the music and the applause and the little kids with tubas too big for them and old ladies thanking our kids for the gift of song. Those kinds of things….

The bombs and fireworks are still going on and making me confused. Tomorrow we visit Montserrat and the Black Virgin statue. It was this statue that Ignatius laid down his sword. By the way on the floor below me is the cave where Ignatius spent 11 months in prayer and contemplation and in writing the Spiritual Exercises. We are in an awesome place people!

and so it goes.

Ma, I'm on top of the World!