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More Camino

Scribes scribin' away.
Scribes scribin’ away.

I was thinking about this yesterday: some time in the 1300’s there was a brother somewhere in Europe who copied the Bible by hand. And I have no idea what his name was. He is a forgotten person…but he handed down THE BIBLE.

And then, sometime later, a different man made another copy. And then another.

Eventually a different man made a printing press and distributed more Bibles.

Far later, someone told another man about the stories in the Bible. That man decided to follow the stories for the rest of his life and he became a priest. This man told the stories in church, and my mother sat in the choir loft and cried because no one had ever told them to her like that before. So then she decided that she would follow the stories, too.

My parents were married, had my oldest brother, then had me. When I was a baby, I was baptized (outdoors!) into their heart-felt semi-hippy community.

When I was little my parents would read me the stories from colorful books–stories about a God who called to His people, loved His people, saved His people.

Faith will forever be a gift from God. God graces us with His love. I believe that He also graces us with the community of Faith. I didn’t wake up one year with a mysterious book containing the stories of God on my front porch, read it, and decide to be Christian. I mean, that would be cool and all, but that’s not how it worked out.

Instead, I am the fruit of thousands of believers who have prayed and sacrificed throughout the ages and centuries and nations so that I might hear these stories, know Jesus, and live.

Thanks be to God.

St. Aloysius. Patron saint of youth, young students, plague victims, and AIDS victims and caregivers.
St. Aloysius. Patron saint of youth, young students, plague victims, and AIDS victims and caregivers.
Today is the feast of St. Aloysius.

He’s kind of an obscure saint. He lived in Spain at the time of all the Spanish Catholic power-players (St. Ignatius Loyola, Charles Borremeo, etc.), and renounced his parent’s royal wealth for Christ to become a Jesuit. When he was around 23 he contracted the plague and died.

That’s the story. It’s pretty sad which is probably why it’s not more known.

Anyway, the church I go to during the week is called “St. Aloysius.” So, several days of the week I’ll be there, praying to Jesus in this man’s parish.

Today is a big day for us Camino-people. Our chaplain and a seminarian begin the FULL ROUTE today (800 km). We will meet him in a few weeks. We have our final practice walk today.

When I looked at the calendar and saw that it was the Feast of St. Aloysius I smiled a little. I’ve been praying for my pilgrims in that church for months now. I believe that St. Aloysius has been praying for us, too. And today, we celebrate together this next step in our faith journey.

I will (if the Lord wills it), in a few weeks, fly to the land where St. Aloysius walked and served. My pilgrims will be touched by the Spanish sun but also (hopefully) by the grace of a God who cares so very individually for each of us. Today, though, we celebrate because the grace of God has brought us together and because the saints hold us in their holy prayers.

Isn’t the life of faith the craziest thing? For some reason I end up in the parish of an obscure young saint…and on a semi-important day for my group, we have the feast day of that saint. There are 365 days in the year, guys! His feast could be any day! But instead it’s today. Little things. Super lovely, though.

Happy Friday, all!

I totally made my pilgrims walk through a historic cemetery last time.
I totally made my pilgrims walk through a historic cemetery last practice walk.

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