Altar Frontal, ca. 1225, Wood with gesso, canvas, and paint Overall (95.9 x 147.3 x 7 cm), The Cloisters Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York) ■ The altar, before which the Mass is celebrated, is the most important piece of liturgical furnishing within a church. In a large church there are often many altars—the high altar, in the choir, and several more in various chapels and other spaces. At the center of this altar frontal from the church of Ginestarre de Cardós are the Enthroned Virgin and Child encircled by a mandorla, which is supported by four angels (the bottom two damaged). Eight apostles, haloed and standing under round arches, accompany the central group. Painted inscriptions along the upper border give the names of six saints: Simon, Jude, Matthew, John, Thomas, and Barnabas. The composition is surrounded by a procession of prancing lions, each enclosed in a roundel. The bottom edge is missing. This altar frontal was decorated using a technique that sought to imitate the gold or silver frontals made for large cathedrals or wealthy monasteries. To achieve the luxurious appearance of the enamels and gemstones often set into more elaborate examples, the design was molded in low relief in gesso and then embellished with paint ■ 

Y entonces uno se queda con la Iglesia, que me ofrece lo único que debe ofrecerme la Iglesia: el conocimiento de que ya estamos salvados –porque esa es la primera misión de la Iglesia, el anunciar la salvación gracias a Jesucristo- y el camino para alcanzar la alegría, pero sin exclusividades de buen pastor, a través de esa maravilla que es la confesión y los sacramentos. La Iglesia, sin partecitas.

laus deo virginique matris