Camino Reflections – Lesson #3: Don’t Stop Praying

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Prayer of the Pilgrims

Lord, you who recalled your servant Abraham out of the town Ur in Chaldea, and who watched over him during all his wanderings; you who guided the Jewish people through the desert; we also query to watch your present servants, who for love of your name, make a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. 

Be for us,

A companion on our journey,

The guide on our intersections,

The strengthening during fatigue,

The fortress in danger,

The resource on our itinerary,

The shadow in our heat,

The light in our darkness,

The consolation during dejection,

And the power of our intention, 

So that we under your guidance, safely and unhurt, may reach the end of our journey, and strengthened with gratitude and power, secure and filled with happiness , may join our home. For Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen

“Spiritually, the highlights of this Camino have been the Pilgrim’s Blessing at the end of the Misa del Peregrino (Pilgrim’s Mass), especially in Estella, where we were given this special prayer to take with us on our journey.”

May 20, 2015 Viana, Spain

Daily prayer was a big part of my Camino pilgrimage, and became even more important as the  days and miles went by. My daily routine included reading scripture in the morning, praying the Rosary while walking, and attending Mass at the end of the day when I could.  The Pilgrim’s Mass became very special, and most times we were the recipients of a Pilgrim’s Blessing at the end of Mass. This was most special indeed. 

The Pilgrim’s Blessing was the church’s and community’s way of showing their care for Camino pilgrims. This nurturing spirit of care was in evidence throughout our Camino, and is really part of the culture of the Spanish people, a culture that has been developed and nurtured over centuries of caring for peregrinos on The Way. In the earliest days, it took the form of providing refuge for weary pilgrims, hence the refugios and hospitaleros that are still found all along the Camino. Caring also took the form of protection of pilgrims from robbers and other criminals intent on inflicting harm on travelers.

Photo by Larry Stewart

Today’s pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago experience the caring nature of the Camino in a hundred different ways. It can be experienced through a simple smile or a warm greeting of “Buen Camino!” from a local; it can be experienced by a kind gesture of providing directions so that peregrinos stay on the right path; and it can be experienced through the Pilgrim’s Blessings offered at the end of Mass in so many villages all along the Way.Camino de Santiago

I’ve been told by friends that the Camino seems like a 5-week retreat. And so it was. A retreat from the normal busy-ness of life, with time for prayer and reflection, a time to listen to the voice of God. I will always treasure that time for a deeper reflection on life. This is what many peregrines discover on the Camino, even if they don’t start out with that in mind.

Whatever you do in life, don’t stop praying, and don’t stop caring for your fellow man.


2 Replies to “Camino Reflections – Lesson #3: Don’t Stop Praying”

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