Camino: In Spite of the Bumps

Well, fellow peregrinos, here we are, still trekking on the path of life. How’s your trail been on your route these last couple of days? Definitely had some muck and mire here, but I hear that’s what one can expect with a typical forecast of the February blues!

As promised, here are your four highlights.

These are the entries from Days 18-19 on the pilgrimage.

Keep reading to see more pictures and get all four highlights (in the space of four minutes!)

One: From the Camino

In spite of bumps, challenges,
We make our way
      to the Immaculata.
She does not help us around them,
But over them, through them.
As she stood with her Son,
     hung on Calvary's 
     bloody tree,
So she'll help us over our bumps
     that make our own Calvary.

Two: From the Physical Building of the Church

At night, when you go to the cemetery -now a proper ol’ churchyard – the lights inside the Immaculata can be seen shining out. In some ways, she looks better in the darkness. The dark silhouette with shapely light is comforting, shining out, beckoning weary souls to take their rest in her.

It’s as though she says “Come to me all that are weary, and you shall find rest for your souls…Am I not here, I who am your mother?”

Three: From the Mass

The Confiteor: Guilt

At this point in the Mass, the Priest and Servers each bend down in saying the Confiteor.

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa…” [Through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault.”]

It is in the Confiteor that we acknowledge our individual involvement in the universal guilt of mankind’s original sin. And in admitting our guilt, we admit the wrestling that is now our lot to do while upon this earth.

“The immediate result of the first sin was psychological suffering, that kind of suffering which can be experienced only by human beings, who have minds and souls as well as bodies.

“In the penetrating light of God, self knowledge became unbearable to Adam. Bitter, inescapable conflict had entered his nature and divided him against himself. God was the source of his joy but now he was constrained to hide from God. Now instead of keeping its unhindered capacity to delight in the good, his whole nature of lurched down words and dragged him towards evil…

“Everything that applies to Adam, applies to us, who are his children.

“Our human nature, inherited from him, is fallen human nature, therefore suffering human nature.

“Psychological suffering is our portion. Self knowledge is unbearable to us, unless we have the rare courage that is willing to be purified by fire. We are in conflict with ourselves. We long insistently for happiness, yet our inclinations drag us, remorselessly and always, towards the things which ultimately destroy even the capacity for happiness. We cannot get, let alone keep, the simplest good thing without waging war on self, without irksome self-discipline and self-denial. Like Adam we must wrestle continually with the elements…

“We have therefore a double obligation as human beings. As children of the Adam we share with all the other human creatures the guilt of our whole race, and the obligation to shoulder our share of the burden consequent upon it; and as individual sinners we have an obligation to wrestle unceasingly with ourselves.

“The human race is bound together by a solidarity of guilt; personal strife and personal sorrow or a debt which we owe to one another…

“Christ chose to use suffering and death as the means for our redemption. It was Christ who paid the debt that the human race owed to God, for no one else could…it had to be one who is God and is Man…

“He wed[ded] himself to our sorrow, …offering himself the sacrifice of his own death on the cross [Through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault…] ‘Greater love than this no man has, that he lay down his life for his friends.’

“We as Christians live with Christ’s life. He lives our life, we are offered the glory of living his…It is impossible to respond to this offer…without accepting what he accepted as man, that is, not only a fragment of the world’s guilt, but all of it, all the suffering caused by sin, the world-sorrow(Houselander, 14-16).”

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa: Through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault

Let us then accept our guilt and our bumps, and surrender them to his unfathomable love, by way of his mother, the Immaculata. “Am I not here, I who am your mother?”

Thanks for reading!

If you would like to understand a little more about guilt from the perspective of shouldering the world-sorrow (and your own sorrow) and how to bring good out of it, check out the wonderful book I’m currently reading:

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