Feliz Navidad!

Merry Christmas!

I've been here in Madrid a week as of yesterday, and I'm celebrating the feast today (and yesterday) with the community here. I'm staying with the elder sisters in a house named Rosales, which is on the same property as a school. Of course, school's out for the holiday. Across the street is a park (also named Rosales, for an artist), and within walking distance is a shopping district and access to all sorts of public transit. I am hoping to walk to the Cathedral later today to see the Christmas decorations. There are nativity scenes EVERYWHERE! In churches, on street corners, in department stores and corner drugstores. In the plazas at the center of tiny towns and big cities. There are four in this house in public areas, and I suspect many of the sisters have their own in their rooms! Here, at least, they definitely remember that Jesus is the center of this celebration.








No Christmas celebration here would be complete without the kissing of the Baby Jesus at the end of the liturgy (both last night and this morning). This is really sweet.





Of course, Papa Noel (whom I keep calling Santa Claus, because that sounds Spanish to my lips!) is also ubiquitous. I have heard some lamentation that Papa Noel is bringing children presents rather than the Kings like it used to be.... alas, the world does, in fact, change with time.



It's a little weird to be in another country for Christmas, because all of everything is different. With the possible exception of chocolate: that seems to be part of Christmas wherever I've been. :D Thank heavens!







We had a lovely dinner last night with beautiful tables, candlelight, and sweets.








Afterwards we prayed with different things, one of which was this video:



We then each received a little smiling Jesus--so precious!




I hope each one who reads this has a lovely and joyous Christmas celebration. May you know in your heart the gift of God's Love to you and to each person you meet.

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