Wednesday, 9 October 2013

God´s Clown

There is a story from the recent papal conclave whose source is Pope Francis himself. He relates how´ after the election but before the formal process was completed a cardinal who was sitting next to him- a fellow South American- leant over and said simply ´remember the poor´. The Pope relates that it was at that moment the name Francis came to him. Today is the feast of St Francis of Assisi  and, as I recounted in an earlier post, Francis walked the Camino. Simplicity, an awareness of the awesome beauty of nature, and living by evangelical values are archytypically the values of the camino.
Today the beauty of nature has been super abundant . After the interminable flatness of the Meseta the mountains of Leon are visible in the far distance. The hills are getting closer, the birds are singing everywhere, and the path climbs steadily westwards.
Pope Francis appears to be a ´mould-breaker´just as his namesake came into conflict with the ecclesiascal and civil authorities of his day. It is remarkable that francis of Assisis commitment to evangelical poverty was too radical even for his own followers. The gospel always calls us forward and deeper. I have a profound sense that´as I enter the latter stages of the pilgrimage, I am called to even more radical refelction. The Camino seems to take layer after layer off you. The ´naked intent unto God´of the Cloud of Unknowing becomes a reality. In many ways Francis of Assisis was ´God´s clown´and we are called to be the same.
What is also clear today is that the mornings are getting really cold . There was a lovely moment at Villar de Mazarife.On the side of the road was a sign advertising three albergues. It read: Jesus,Tio Pepe,and St Antony of Papua! I felt that someone had a sense of humour.
Villavante felt like a town where nothing happens! The owner of the Albergue Santa Lucia was quite welcoming and I was soon sitting at the side of the street on a glorious afternoon . I was joined by a lady from Massachusets called Carrie who would later feature in the final days of my journey to Santiago . By late afternoon the albergue was packed and,as my cold developed,I had an uncomfortable night.

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