Hello everyone. I return to you from a writing hiatus that has lasted three months too long. “What have you been up to?”, you ask. Oh, you know, European travels, entering the desert, and quarantining. All that’s to say, I have missed communicating what’s been going on through this ~medium~ and hope to connect with each of you while we all have more time than normal to take a step back. 2020 has come to be something that is much different than we all expected, but let us all come together in these uncertain times of the coronavirus outbreak. God is Emmanuel, He is with us.
España con Raquel
Our journey to Barcelona was one full of daily mass, local food, sangria, days basking in the Mediterranean sun, and nights at Manchester. When we first arrived to the city, we went to the church just down the alleyway from our hostel and celebrated the mass in Catalan. Just before mass, I was trying to open the wrong door and a little old lady came over to us, trying to tell us in Catalan that I was not supposed to do such a gringo thing. We got to talking — of course, going back in forth in our broken Spanish and in her Catalan. She came and sat next to us in mass and introduced us to the priest afterward. Her joy was so radiant and touched me in a unique way that I hope not to forget. What a beautiful gift the Body of Christ is. Our languages can bring us together here on earth, but the one Language of Love found in the Church ultimately helps us to understand one another. Additionally, Rachel and I had a place that we kept returning to — THE Manchester Bar. We met some good friends: Oscar(the Beast), Maria(Russian woman), Diego(Miami man working on a v e r y important video production), and an older British (Yorkshire) man with long hair and piercings. We celebrated my 23rd birthday at a bocadillo shop and talking to our friends about the Spanish economy. Every time that I am privileged enough to travel, it is impressed upon me just how essential it is to connect with others. To expand your borders and learn the life of other cultures — there’s something about it that pulls me in further.
Back on the home front
I celebrated turning 23 domestically with some very treasured people. Many of you know how much angst I get about getting older. The passing of time is something I have never fancied, and ~the good old days~ are something that I cling to. Alas, a wise old soul once told me that if I love something, I must let it go. Here’s to enjoying the present moments before us and being grateful for the time we have had thus far.
Now, the dreaded topic that we all predicted would come — the virus. Up until the quarantine of the coronavirus, we were in the desert of Lent and I was walking with Jesus in a particularly cracked-lip and scorched-skin desert. We all know the drill of quarantine — most churches are closed, society is hibernating, you must keep your distance. And it seems when we need Christ the most in His Body and Blood, we are told to stay in our homes. In sort of a Catholic world-view, I think restrictions on our faith have hurt America especially hard because we likely have never been limited before. Alternatively, in places like China, North Korea, Afghanistan and many more, the underground Church is the only pulse that Christians have due to religious persecution. We are blessed to be able to freely practice our faith here in the land of the free, although it is temporarily stripped from us.
Sarah Rivas! My roommate has transitioned to all online classes and is home often. We have been able to spend time together watching Jack Ryan, dropping corks into wine, and having good cackles. I’m trying to convince her that we should make a dance video. Thoughts?
May we draw closer to the Crucifix and meditate on the Passion as we enter into Holy Week. God is with us, He is Emmanuel.
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam | Go Gators