La Cartuja, The Carthusian Monastery, Granada
We are going to spend the next couple of days in the Alhambra. However, since we arrived at Granada at 2 a.m. last night–I know, bad planning!!–we took today easy, drove around, shopped, and visited the Cartuja, a baroque church and monastery in absolutely terrible taste, meant to be Catholicism’s answer to the Alhambra!!
The first thing which struck me was that it was absolutely too much. It was the church that had too much.
My daughter, Irene, 11, who has been taken to innumerable Gothic Cathedrals in several European countries almost wanted to stay in our Moorish rented house rather than trek out. However, she sat spell-bound by the magnificence, and did not want to move.
“I am so glad I didn’t stay back to read,” she said, “This is the best church I have ever seen!!”
Truly, people form their own innate aesthetic and there is nothing someone else can do to foist their loves and hatreds onto them.
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And God was so merciful to us. We flew out of Gatwick on EasyJet yesterday; today, they announced that they are cancelling all flights between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. because of an ice storm. Dear Lord, let our good luck–or your merciful providence–hold for our return flight.
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I have been thinking about God’s protection recently. Probably the best illustration I know of this is from a book by Hannah Whittall Smith called “The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life.”
Now, I read this in my late teens, which was a while ago, so if I remember it wrongly, forgive me.
Hannah has a vision of the Christian wrapped in a haze of golden light. Nothing could harm her unless the light parted to allow it.
So nothing can happen to us, unless God permits it.
And nothing can happen to us which God cannot work out for good.
Sometimes, even as he closes a door, he opens a window. Sometimes, though, there is a lag.
The Lord is my Shepherd. With him as my shepherd, I am safe. With him as my shepherd I can relax. Sometimes, though “the arrow that flies by night” flies around me, I am not only unharmed by it, but, praise God, I am even unaware that it has been flying near me.
Thank you, God for your protection. Deliver me from evil–evil I might do, and evil others might wish on me or for me. Amen.