Feb 20, 2018. Day XVI

Route: Berecianos del Camino Real – Mansilla de las Mulas
Distance: 27 km (Total: 400 km)

Another night and day on our Camino went by quite nicely. We wanted to find the albergue Albergue Santa Clara in Berecianos. It was highly recommended by one of the pilgrims we met on the way.

Indeed, the place turned out to be very neat an pleasant. You could already tell it from a distance just looking at the faces of the owners. And it was just the two of us there. Woohoo!

This morning over breakfast coffee Henry asked the owner, Rosa, about the author of several bright paintings inside the reception-kitchen. She responded they were her mother’s. Then, speaking about the devil, the mother appeared. Smile and peace on her face. I would like to look like that when I am her age, I thought.

This morning I learned something new, like everyday. I always assumed you could not cook eggs in a microwave. Well, there is a way to do that. You need a special plastic container into which you break an egg. Then you put it into the microwave for 30-40 seconds and voila. I think I am going to get a container like that when I get home. I recommend it.

Our walk today was similar to yesterday. It was quite flat, pretty windy and chilly. Great weather for meditation and prayer. Today I had a special intention request in a difficult health situation of somebody. And there again I had the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary. It all comes together so logically.

The city of Mansilla de las Mulas, which was our today’s destination, has a church with a miraculous figure of Saint Mary the Gracious. So I had also another opportunity to plead for the case I was praying today.

Walking through the villages I see a certain consistency in the landscape. In every town and city there are stork nests on the church steeples. Perhaps this could also be done in Poland where we have plenty of churches and storks.

Walking all the time on the endless meseta the landscape remains generally similar. Today, however, an immense mountain range started emerging ahead of us in a distance. According to Google Maps it still about 130 km from us. It looks like we will have to climb some high mountains again in winter weather. I hope my legs get better by then.

A few changes in the West. Film

Tomorrow we are planning a short stage and a night at a hotel in a big city of León. It will be a chance to relax a bit before a series of more difficult stages ahead of us.

Meditation XV. Do not judge, or you too will be judged.

Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
Mt 7, 1-2

The above are pretty clear and strong words. But how not to judge going through life? Is this even possible? Perhaps Jesus has some special kind of judging on his mind when saying this? My intuition tells me the latter is true. My biblical knowledge reminds me that there is the Book of Judges in the Old Testament and in the New Testament the following sentence by Jesus also seems relevant:

Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly
J 7, 24

The above excerpt contains a clue. You can judge but be it well thought out, not too quick. With utmost care. Further in the Mathew’s Gospel hypocrisy is mentioned and seeing a speck in other people’s eyes but not seeing a plank in our own.

How difficult it is to start with myself?! Nevertheless it is a very potent weapon against hasty judgements of others.

While meditating on this I also recalled a very helpful best practice taught by St. Ignatius. When you deal with any dillema ask yourself honestly the following question: is this particular action/thing getting me closer or moving me away from Him?

I think I can use the above filter as well to exercise good care with my judgments.

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