February 24, 2018. Day XX

Route: Murias de Rechivaldo – Foncebadón
Distance: 21 km (Total: 505 km)

What a beautiful and frosty morning welcomed me today! It is Saturday, February 24. It is a very imporatant day in my life. This day, seventeen years ago was one of the most beautiful days of my life. It was then when Ania and I got married. It was also Saturday and it was extremely cold. In the beautiful Cathedral in Torun, Poland, I had to survive the whole Eucharist in around 0 C wearing just my wedding suit. Fortunately my heart was warm and the Pueri Cantores Thorunienses Choir was singing angelicaly during the Holy Mass.

Beautiful morning

The hike today was very picturesque. Marvellous landscapes, surroinding silence and great weather.

At the altitudes we are on now it can be pretty cold at night. You can still see ice on the trail in the afternoon like the one above.

My theme for the day, next to meditation about idea of God’s perfection, was our wedding anniversary. Though we are apart from each other I feel amazing closeness with my wife today.

While walking yesterday I managed to place a flower delivery order. The modern technology allows to do things like that with so much ease. I picked a bouquet, typed a letter, made the payment and placed the order on my smart phone during my walk using only one hand and one finger. It all happened in the middle of nowhere in north-western Spain.

This morning I was waiting for a text message confirmation of the flower delivery to my wife. I planned this to be done in the morning expecting everybody to be home then. Instead I first got a call from the flower courier saying that he is at the door with the flowers but no one is answering. I asked him to wait and called first my wife, to no avail, and then my daugther to check if anybody was home. Then courier realized he was at the wrong address and said he would deliver the flowers later. At the time my wife was actually away at a hairdresser’s.

Because of this whole delivery address misunderstanding and my wife’s morning absence at home eventually the flowers were delivered to her own hands. Serendipity, huh? I guess there may be some external forces involved here.

I have lunch alone at a nice albergue in Rabanal. Actually I am accompanied by older ladies whom I show pictures of my family and wife. Once they find out I am celebrating our wedding anniversary I get a special home made dessert made by the abuela. So good.

The last 5,5 km to the hostel I walk in a brisk pace depsite steep climb. The final kilometer I start running to remind myself about my trainings.

Running El Camino. Film

After reaching albergue I see that Henry, Paolo and Jun from South Korea are already there. As promised we have supper together and the anniversary wine is on me.

Meditation XIX. Be perfect

You have heard the law that says, ‚Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you; (…)
If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that.You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Mt 5, 43-44, 47-48

So what does being perfect mean according to God? Not what most of us strive for.

Some Bible translations use the word saint or compassionate instead of perfect. Besides, perfectionism has rather negative connotation. And this appeal by Jesus is so alluring.

In a similar fragment of Luke’s gospel he uses yet another expression:

Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful

To have heart of flesh not heart of stone. How difficult, especially versus our enemies. When I look a bit deeper I see that being perfect as Father can be achieved through recognition of my own imperfections. Through such humility I have a greater chance to open up to God’s Grace and to others, including those not well wishing. What a paradox!
Wordly idea of perfect is the source of pride. And Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall (Proverbs 16,18)

So deliver me God from that.

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