Before dinner, we went to the special Pilgrims’ Mass. It was held in the church attached to the albergue, an ancient edifice for pilgrims that has existed since the 1100s.
Many of the churches in Spain are cavernous and echo-y, constructed with stone and masonry of an almost identical color throughout the North. To enter one is to feel like you’re traveling through time, back to the Middle Ages. I was moved again and again by the realization that millions of souls had been here before me and the awareness of years of incense accumulated on these walls.
Yet the homily of this particular Mass was completely modern. The priest spoke of the physical journey we were on, yes, but he also emphasized that we’re also on a Camino interior. An inner journey as well as the outer.
My eyes started to water.
As you are walking, he told us, listen deeply to what is happening inside you. In your heart. Follow the path both without and within. See if you can find God in the people around you and be touched by them. Listen to how the Holy Spirit guides you.
He was telling us to listen to our own wisdom.
For as much healing as I’ve felt with the Church over the years, I never expected to hear this powerful message in a centuries-old setting from a vibrant Spanish priest.
I already knew that I was on a Camino interior, but his words were a blessing. To trust my own knowing. To trust Divine guidance.
Yesterday’s lesson was to accept pain, and today’s was to listen to my own wisdom. The Camino really does provide the very teachers we need.