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