The restless heart

It is now six months since returning from the Camino, and our pilgrim spirits are still in full bloom. I was doing some reading this morning and was struggling to pay attention to the text. My mind was cycling back and forth from the book to the Camino. This then got me thinking about restlessness and yearning. Curiously, the book I was reading was about Catholic spirituality, and the section I was trying to focus on was explaining that the Spirit within us is always restless until the journey Home is complete. Many confuse this restlessness of heart with a general feeling of emptiness that they try to fill in the only way familiar to them, self indulgence. These superficial solutions always leave us worse off as we fail to understand, and properly respond to, what our hearts are truly crying out for. Our trips to the Camino have been motivated by a call of faith. This has not been a trumpet blast, but rather a more subtle sense of being lovingly guided. We choose to place ourselves on pilgrim roads to strengthen, and practice not only our faith, but also our humility. The journey’s recompense is, hopefully, found in the incremental increase of love, wisdom, and courage sufficient for the journey Home. The restlessness Robin and I sense is the urgency to be closer to God, not just in thought or word but, more importantly, in deed. Walking pilgrim roads, in our experience, helps a great deal in this regard. It is simply where we feel we need to be, and want to be. BTW it is also a lot of fun.

Coincidentally, (but perhaps not) a hymn (Healing River of the Spirit) that was sung at mass this morning included (in part) these timely words.

Weary from the restless searching that has lured us from your side, we discover in your presence peace the world cannot provide.

All the world is torn by conflict; wars are raging at this hour. Saving Spirit move among us, guide our winding human course, till we find our way together, flowing homeward to our Source.

Finding our peace lies in finding the path to the inner door of our heart. In that interior silence we can awaken to a sacred space that enables us to hear the voice guiding us home to our Source. We just have to learn to listen. That is the hard part and, yes, it takes practice.

Peace, love, and buen camino,

John and Robin

7 thoughts on “The restless heart”

  1. Hi Karen. We are off to Le Puy right after Easter 2014. Our plan is to walk to SJPDP, then head to Irun and walk the Norte to the Primitivo and then follow that to the CF and Santiago. The Norte and Primitivo made the Le Puy route a much more logical choice. We really enjoyed following you guys on the Arles route. Your blog is always a pleasure to read. Hope you and Dayton are well and having fun. Now to deal with walking in heat of summer. BTW, any guide book recommendation for the Le Puy route? I am now practicing my oui, oui'ing and my si, si'ing (as per your description). Couldn't resist.

    Cheers,
    John and Robin

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  2. Boy, that's an aggressive trip. We're envious already. As far as guidebooks go, get the Miam Miam Dodo's latest edition. It is a must. We also took the Alison Raju (sp?) English guidebok. It had great historical info about all the places on the route but the actual description of the route was a little wordy, ie. half a page description of 500 metres. Maps were not good at all and it is heavy and while it was supposed to be an updated edition, there were no changes….so some of the info was a bit dated. I would check and see what the Confraternity of St. James has to offer. If they have a current book, then it could be helpful. We took one of theirs for the Arles route.

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  3. Karen, thanks for the information. I am sure we will have many questions once our planning shifts into high gear (January). For now I am fascinated by ultra light kit and have been looking at a company called Z Packs. Amazing stuff. Pretty pricey, but oh so light. Check them out. I think I can get my pack down to about 14 pounds including a light down quilt, food, water, ipad mini and camera.

    Cheers,
    John and Robin

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  4. What a beautiful and touching post! It was nice to meet you both today at the APOC meeting and I appreciate the practical advice. It is wonderful to hear how The Camino brought you closer to God. Mine did so for me, in fact I often felt his palpable presence. I've got a few stories that still give me goosebumps about my experience. I look forward to getting to know you both more at future meetings.
    Kathy Smith

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  5. What a lovely post. It was nice meeting you both today at the APOC meeting. I appreciate the practical advice today, but love reading the deeper meaning that The Camino provided. I also did the Camino to get closer to God. I often felt his palpable presence while I was walking. I have a few stories about my experience that still give me goose bumps.
    I look forward to getting to know you both better at future events!
    Kathy Smith

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