Pray for Spain

by Digitalnun on March 24, 2014

News of the death of Adolfo Suarez brought back vivid memories of living in Madrid in the immediate post-Franco era. Everyone seemed to be talking politics, and if you knew where to go, you could hear Basque and Catalan being spoken in various cafes (such national languages were outlawed under Franco). When the first election was called, the Madrid traffic rustled its way through the streets, so thick on the ground were the pamphlets and campaign leaflets. Now, when the property boom has long since turned to bust and the Spanish economy has creaked and wheezed to its present parlous state, the streets are again alive with argument, but this time conducted with angry, not hopeful, voices. Austerity in southern Europe has cut deep, much deeper than in the north, and the bright hope that Adolfo Suarez and King Juan Carlos I seemed to usher in is no more.

Does it matter? I’m inclined to think it does, not only because of the people behind the statistics, but also because a united Europe, a stable Europe, is one of the best protections for all of us against the centrifugal tendencies of modern democracy and the distinctly undemocratic tendencies of Russia. It is a few years since I was last in Spain, but my impression is that it is no longer as united* nor as Catholic as it once was. The Church is no longer the glue holding society together. Secularisation and immigration have together wrought profound changes. Indeed, it is difficult to see any glue, except that of democracy itself; and democracy, as we know, is always much more fragile when times are hard. The temptation to sell one’s birthright for a mess of pottage is never stronger than when one is hungry and has no hope of ever being anything else.

Let us pray for Spain and her peoples, and for the repose of the soul of Adolfo Suarez who managed the difficult transition from Francoism to democracy in despite of the prophets of doom. There are many ways of serving, and politics is not the least noble for those who themselves wish to live nobly.

* ‘united’ is always a difficult term when used of Spain, which is a land of fierce regional pride, at least in my experience.

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7 comments

Sad to see politics brought up here. Its my personal opinion that the EU together with PC and its phobia towards Faith and Morals is responsible for much of the fragmentation in society rather than bringing us together artificially. Sad Britain ever signed up for it and so grateful we had the sanity to stay out of the deadly Eurozone. Russian politics is another world apart as is that of the middle east, most western politicians have no comprehension of either. However this spiritual column [which I appreciate daily ] should avoid the ‘stew pot’ of politics in the name of peace among its readers, please.

by janua on Monday, 24 March, 2014 at 9:38 am. #

Lived in Spain also and yes the country is ‘complicated’

Let us pray for it and the general conversion of Europe and beyond to Jesus Christ in whom the only true freedom can be found.

by janua on Monday, 24 March, 2014 at 9:41 am. #

Dear Janua , the stew pot of politics is the stuff of life and Sr Catherine is merely inviting us to pray for the People of Spain and the peaceful repose of Adolfo Suarez.
I believe in a God who is concerned with the details of our lives.So much so, that a sparrow falling to the earth is seen by Him, and every hair on our heads is numbered. He is very much concerned with the people of Spain, every aspect of their lives, political and spiritual,and so should we.
I agree with Sr Catherine that when the Secular displaces the Spiritual , the glue that holds us together is lost. Democracy can be a force for good, but the love of God and our love for one another is where the line of spiritual warfare is drawn. Let’s agree to pray for the people of Spain :)

by Clifford Grier on Monday, 24 March, 2014 at 10:24 am. #

I have no issues with the praying for Spain and beyond and agree re the ‘glue.’ However the – ”Iā€™m inclined to think it does, not only because of the people behind the statistics, but also because a united Europe, a stable Europe, is one of the best protections for all of us against the centrifugal tendencies of modern democracy and the distinctly undemocratic tendencies of Russia.” – I disagree with somewhat and its place here. If Europe were united in the holy Faith once more rather than pseudo politically things might be different.

by janua on Monday, 24 March, 2014 at 11:26 am. #

Thank you for clarifying your views. I hope we can agree that it is helpful to open our hearts to one another and that open debates on any issue, politics included, is a healthy thing even amongst Christians. >

by Clifford Grier on Monday, 24 March, 2014 at 12:46 pm. #

Thank you for your comments. Anyone who dislikes my opinions, or the expression of them, is free to argue otherwise or read something more to their liking. As the byline to the blog indicates*, I’ll write about about anything that interests me ā€” the Arts, science, politics, economics, human nature, even dogs ā€” and I tend to find God, or something of God, in all of them. If others can’t, I’m sorry; but I don’t think that is an adequate reason for my avoiding any subject. If this blog is ‘spiritual’ to any degree, it should help open minds and hearts, not close or narrow them.
*the world seen from the cloister

by Digitalnun on Monday, 24 March, 2014 at 8:11 pm. #

As an Anglo- Catalan I’m not even going to comment on the present situation in Spain but I would like to echo D. Catherine’s memories of post-Francoist Spain as a place of incredible enthusiasm and hope for the future. Even as a child I felt the euphoria and clearly remember my(saintly) mother weeping with relief at the news that Franco was dead. The present situation is very different and prayers are very much needed.

by Rachel on Monday, 24 March, 2014 at 9:09 pm. #


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