Day 3: Camino – pain and joy
Walking the camino sounds romantic. There is an inner discipline that is required. This inner discipline is a constant reminder of the outer discipline that discipleship requires.
I left Fatima two days ago. I have arrived in the town of Ansião. This is 47 Km of walking in two days. Traveling up hill 619 m and down hill 468 m. For example Fort George is 340 M high.
Yesterday, having stopped a bit short because of accommodation, today I needed to walk 31 Km. I left home at 6 AM, one hour before sunrise. Here the peak the Petrus is between 2 & 5 PM you want to be finished walking by then. So I set off in the dark on a lonely road with GPS and torchlight on the phone. The road was well lit. Then at 6:30 the lights went out, and I was plunged into darkness.
Lead, kindly light, amid the encircling gloom,
Lead thou me on;
The night is dark, and I am far from home;
Lead thou me on;
Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene: one step enough for me.
This sentiment is rue of all of our life. But on the Camino we see so much more clearly. In the dark of the morning I understood how little I see in my usual life. I also realized how much I believe see, but do not.
Then the light was turned off as I was pitched into darkness. This has happened so many times in my spiritual life, in my pastoral life, in my moral life. On each occasion i had to trust the little flickering light to lead me on. Trust that little light. It is Christ himself.
8 hours of walking with three stops for a break to eat something and get some rest. The weather was absolutely magnificent. Grey all day till 1:15 Pm. When the sun came out, it began to get hot. But i was on my final leg and all was well with the world.
In the pain of my body, amidst in muscles I did not know I had, iI was undeterred. The more my body hurt, the more joy rose inside. This too is a way of the cross. Bodily pain with joy rising in the most unexpected way. I arrived safely. Much worse for ware. But filled with a calm and a joy that is incredible.
As you walk your inner Camino to Jesus Christ. Know that He leads you and will be present to you in the darkness and the pain.