Short missive today.

Outside the Cave
Easy easy day today. Getting up later for breakfast served at the civilized time of 9 a.m. Got to love Jesuit houses! The food was great and there was enough of it. Homemade. And there was real coffee. No machines for powdered stuff. We were on the bus around 10 and headed off for the Benedictine Monastery at Montserrat in the Sawtooth mountains. The significance of the place is this is where Ignatius lay down his sword at the feet of the Black Virgin of Montserrat, and dedicated himself, like a knight to complete service. It was the beginning of a change of life for him. The most dramatic change in his life came where we are staying, la cova (the cave).

The queue to get in to see the Black Virgin statue was out the door and down the steps. Hundreds of people were in line to get up close and personal with the unique statue. There must have been something about the altitude because I got light headed and had to leave the line. I say altitude because when the bus returned to the valley floor I was fine. The hung in there and saw it for themselves. I’m glad I saw it and touched it several years ago. We gave them free time to explore, climb rocks or people watch. Very low key. My kind of day. I gave them a little background before hand but you never know what they get or don’t get.

We came back to the Retreat center in the early afternoon so we had time to either walk to town, take a nap or just hang with each other until the performance this evening for the director of the center, the staff including the kitchen staff and assorted Jesuits living at the house. The kids suited up in their concert clothing and gave a damn good performance. Everything they sang was beautiful and expressive.

The director, Fr Josep was so appreciative of our gift and thanked us in English, then repeated it in Catalan for the other people in the Church. The small intimate crowd was enthusiastic. It was akin to a command performance for Ferdinand and Isabella. We went to the outside of the cave to take a posed picture suitable for framing. It was nice.

After dinner we all went for a walk down to the River Cardoner and crossed the Bridge Vell which, along with the old Cathedral on the hill was around when Ignatius was here. Maybe he walked on it to get back to his cave in the rocks. I just thought of that. Good day all around. Tomorrow we leave for Basque country and the origins of the Loyolas.

And so it goes….