I find it interesting that many of the people who we met on the Camino were very quick to reply "I am not religious" when discussing their motivation to walk the Camino - this was before I ever mentioned that I was a Roman Catholic deacon - to them we were nothing more than an older American couple with time on our hands to kill. From the way they say it - or from the tone in their voices - I perceive that they make that comment for a number of reasons.
#1 - they are religious - but are afraid that they will be labeled a religious fanatic - and will be shunned
#2 - they are Catholic - but not actively practicing the faith - and are afraid of being
#3 - they are not Catholic/Christian - but are seekers - looking for the Truth
#4 - they know the Truth lies in Jesus Christ - but do not know how to make Him a part of
#5 - they have confused religious with spiritual - the two not being exactly the same
Everyone of us has a part of our being that is spiritual - basically - each of us embodies a trinitarian existence - the physical - the intellectual - the spiritual. Our physical is nurtured by the foods we eat and the games we play - the intellectual is nurtured by the works we read and the problems our minds contemplate - the spiritual is nurtured by religious devotions and the life experiences we encounter. Not all are religious - in the common sense - but all are spiritual - in the lives we lead - in the events we experience - in the peoples we meet - in the places we visit - in the things we hear and do.
To walk the Camino - is to touch the Divine - in whatever form or shape - one experiences such things - sight - sound - smell - taste - feel. Each person on the Camino is seeking to fulfill that inner part - we call our spiritual side - seeking to fill a void that is not complete - seeking to become whole - to answer questions - to receive answers. As we seek to fill our spiritual side - we do so - by religiously walking day after day to Santiago.
The same goes for Lent - so many people are seeking to fill voids that exist in their lives. It is possible that void may be filled by prayers - meditation - quiet - spiritual readings - even this blog. All it takes is openness.
Where have you seen markers in your life?
A lonely cross erected along the trail - additions by passing pilgrims
We added one of the 500 Saint Gianna prayer cards we had printed up
At one time the rivers were so high these bridges had to be greatly elevated
note original bridge much lower
The bridge is so high people with fear of heights have trouble crossing
Water level very low now
Old Roman stairs near river
After the scary walk over the bridge - greeted with this staircase
Portomarin 89.5 Km to go
And then more stairs
And a short up hill yet
A flat street - about time
Pilgrim pointing to Santiago
Church had to be disassembled from original lower location by river and
moved here to higher ground or be completely under water
Sign explains the relocation of church
albergue with a lot of younger pilgrims
End of day - wine - beer - tapas
Another rough day - happy to shower - change - find drinks and snacks - waiting for dinner.
Sleep - bedtime prayers.