Friday, 19 December 2008

Time Travel to Madrid

I had a good time in Madrid when I was there at the end of September: a long time ago I know, but worth mentioning nonetheless. I was very fortunate because it turned out that the priests I was to stay with were building a new parish in the north of the city: as a result they were staying in an appartment right in the centre of town, on the Plaza de Oriente. Below is a view from the flat: in the distance is the new Cathedral and to the right the Palas Real.

As a result I ended up having to walk only 3 minutes to classes every morning, on the Via de Arunel, unlike the 20 or so minutes I had to travel for class in Salamanca. The classes were intense, one-on-one, but I learned a lot. Happily I ended up getting good marks at the Intermedio-Alto level. My reading of the language is much better - and it means I can read the works of my Director, Luis Ladaria, and other people whom he has directed in studies concerning St Hilary.

Madrid is a fine city. I was able to use my Spanish alot and also do some sight-seeing. The Prado, with its fine collection of art, impressed me deeply. I spent some time looking at Velázquez, El Greco, Goya, Murillo and many others (including a tour in Spanish from one of my Spanish teachers of Picasso's Guernica). I especially enjoyed Murillo, and his intimate, gentle portrayal of scenes from the life of Our Lord and the saints, bringing out the humanity deeply, simply, while combining these sometimes with scenes of Divine glory. Amongst many I very much liked the picture below of the Holy Family:

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