Saturday, June 9, 2012

Training for the Camino

For the past year I have been working with St. John's University Campus Ministry in Collegeville, MN, while pursuing a master's degree. This summer I am delighted to help lead a college group while fulfilling a dream I've held for at least twelve years: to walk the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, the Way of Saint James in Spain! Many roads converge as pilgrims walk their way across France and Spain to get to the sight of Santiago de Compostela, and some pilgrims spend months walking hundreds of miles from their homes to Santiago and all the way back again. We have three weeks and will be walking about 300 miles of the pilgrimage, starting in Roncesvalles. At that pace, we'll be covering between 10 and 20 miles a day.

Many people have pitched in to make my going possible, and I am carrying their prayer requests with me as I train in the evenings, carrying my big old pack across the hills of southern Indiana. Moving at a walking pace gives one some time to reflect on life and where God is in everything. I pray for those who are hurting, for those who are lonely, for those who have been friends to me, for those who struggle with faith. Sometimes I'm just quiet and listen for God.

The journey metaphor for the spiritual life is ancient and rich: we constantly are in a process of changing and becoming, "moving" toward something else, even as we commit to people and places and careers. Particularly for Benedictines, who profess stability, "journeying" comes out in our other vow of conversatio, which we translate as "fidelity to the monastic way of life." It's about continuing to choose God as the goal, continuing to give our lives to this way, even as we are tempted to ditch what may look like a rough deal sometimes. If we remain faithful, spiritually we will grow, we will "journey" deeper into the spiritual life, into the heart of God.


  1. So happy for you, Sister. May the Lord bless you and your companions on your journey. Pray for us!

  2. Wow! Have a wonderful time