June 14th, 2014| Topic: RaMbLeS | 6


It’s a clandestine operation. Located in Madrid. In a convent! Yup, the Monasterio del Corpus Christi. A secret undertaking. Sweets! They make and sell dulces (pronounced with the cute Castilian lisp, of course: “dool-thays”).

You can find this cloak-and-dagger operation on the Plaza del Conde de Miranda, 3, in Old Madrid.

The convent building is a 17th century structure and the nuns have been there since 1605 (not the same individuals).

Well, they need support to keep up the place, so they make sweets. If you are in the mood for naranjines, mantecados de jerez y de yema, los nevaditos, los tocinitos de cielo, pastas de almendras, or polvorones, check out the good ladies’ productions when you are in the vicinity.

BTW: This appears to be a common practice all throughout Spain. Madrid itself has more of these confectionaries masquerading as convents, and I found a few more during my wanderings in Toledo and in Segovia.)

Quite an adventure this business. And you gotta know what you’re doing. I did—I’d already done my research.

The church entrance is marked by a set of fancily carved wooden doors, but don’t go in there. Keep going uphill to find a big brown door on the left.

BTW2: They’re open only Mon through Sat 9:30–13:00 and 16:30–18:30.

The sign says: Ventas de Dulces (“Sweets for Sale”).

By the side of the door is a set of buttons. Push the one marked monjas (“nuns”) and someone answers over the intercom. Say, “Dulces, por favor,” and you’ll be buzzed in.

BTW3: The nuns are cloistered. You won’t see a soul throughout these undercover transactions.

Go through the dim corridor to an open courtyard, and then through another corridor to another open space, and then there is little half-door on the left wall that has a revolving counter. Read the price list posted above. Name your choice. Out swings the lazy susan with your selection. A voice without a body quotes your price. You pick your dulces, and put the required number of Euros on said lazy suzan which swings away into the darkness with a Gracias! The End!

Felt like I’d just done a drug deal or something!

BTW4: The blessed dulces aren’t cheap. But who said blessings are free?

Which makes a nice segue into my topic for this week: Divine blessings are free!


The experience of those divine blessings by his children aren’t. There are often conditions if we want to experience God’s blessings. Once we are in relationship to God as his children, he places upon us the responsibility for living lives commensurate with his own holy standard.

BTW5, we’re not left to our own devices and to lifting ourselves by our own bootstraps, though. God enables our obedience through his Spirit, thankfully!

But, yes, there are conditions.

The first Psalm begins with them.

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
But his delight is in the law of the LORD, ….
Psalm 1:1–2

Here’s another blessing—God’s love. It is unconditional, but its experience is not. Jude, therefore, encourages us:

Keep yourselves in the love of God …
Jude 1:21

Which means, I can take myself out of it, by not walking with God. Jesus agreed.

“If you keep my commandments, you will abide in My love.”
John 15:10

In that sense, not free, but conditional.

Read the Menu!

BTW6, Were they any good, you ask? ¡Riquísimo! as they say.


  1. Meredith June 22, 2014 at 7:14 am

    I really like this one.

  2. Eric June 22, 2014 at 6:34 am

    Sweet post! Entertaining and thoughtful as always. I had trouble getting to the page last week but am glad to read it this morning. 🙂

    BTW8, on my of my trips to Germany years ago, I brought home a bag of pastries. But somehow when I got home, the pieces looked a lot smaller. Also, at the bottom were a lot of tiny little pieces I did not buy…

  3. Nancy Drew June 15, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    We can take ourselves out of His blessings by not walking with God. We can also take ourselves out of His blessings by expecting things He never promised. Thinks like riches, nice houses, better jobs, a trouble-free life; none of these things are promised by Him. In fact, Jesus told us to expect the exact opposite. I recently noticed Luke 17:7-10 where Jesus compares the Father to a Master. He tells his listeners that we should say, “We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty”. Never noticed that before! Clearly Christ was telling the followers not to expect more than God offers. But the real joy comes from knowing that we have the privilege of being unworthy servants. We have a place in the Master’s house; He “hired” us & gave us a job to do! Not everyone gets a place in the Master’s house. That is a blessing that will last the test of time. BTW7, Are you bringing any of those pastries home?

    • Abe Kuruvilla June 15, 2014 at 4:59 pm

      Thanks! Yes, expecting things God doesn’t promise is also not walking with him.

      Pastries? Sorry, all gone!


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