The Camino is complete and our group has developed a true kinship. Our bodies and blisters are relieved. The experience is still settling in and will continue to do so for weeks to come.
For me, this has been an adventure amongst many others on life’s great journey of learning my heart, nature, and relationship with God and the church in a deeper, more sincere way. Some of my questions have been answered and others, not previously considered, have risen. The growth through the conversation, living, and traveling together can be seen in all of us.
My prayer for myself, as it is for all my fellow travelers, is that we can continue to grow in confidence and courage to listen to God and our consciences and act according to what we hear. If I (we) can attain this with regularity I believe that a greater sense of peace will be gained on a soul/spiritual level. And from this, the love and peace of Christ can shine through me and all of us, despite our faults.
With our earliest start to the day (5:45am), we began what would be our final day of walking and triumphal entry into Santiago de Compostela. It was yet another beautiful day of weather (we have been extremely blessed), but also a day met with some sickness on the part of two of our pilgrims. Not certain if food poisoning or the good old flu, but two of our men were/are on the road to recovery. All in all, we have also been very blessed in this department as well (only one other pilgrim, earlier in the week, did battle with flu-like symptoms).
Despite everyone not being in good health, we made our 11 mile final walk into the city and we presented ourselves before the Cathedral Basilica of Santiago.
Our Mass was celebrated at 1:15pm, with the added bonus of seeing the botafumerio swing across the transept of the Church. All our (and yours) prayers/ intentions were placed at the the altar.
The remainder of the day was spent enjoying the comfort of our hotel and a little exploring of the city. In the evening, we gathered for our final dinner together, followed by a theological reflection about all that was gained (spiritually, emotionally, physically, and vocationally), by the pilgrims. For over 1 hour, each of the pilgrims shared with the group what the Camino pilgrimage meant to them. It was a grace-filled evening and ample proof the pilgrimage was worth the effort.
Please know of our prayers of gratitude for helping us to achieve this great task of walking 165 miles to better discern our vocation.
Tomorrow we have time to explore Santiago, before we prepare for our flight home to the USA on Tuesday.
Because of you, a Buen Camino was had by all!