Today is the last day of the Ramadan fasting here in France.
It’s not easy to keep on day after day making this effort. It occurred to me that if we do this again, we could modify our effort, make it easier on ourselves and just do the last week for example. Then I remembered one of our experiences from the st. James Way.
One day, nearing the end, there seemed to a whole lot more people on the Way. The atmosphere was kind of flittering whereas we were feeling weariness, heaviness, the plodding of hundreds of kilometers with 10 kg on our backs. We learned that the Catholic Church has set a minimum of 150 km in order to obtain the certificate that says you have done this pilgrimage. So there are people who do just this minimum and we had arrived at where they start. Our days began early on the Way so as to arrive at a shelter before the worst of the heat of the day. We would take our showers, do our laundry, then conk out until things revive again. In Spain, everything slows down in the afternoon, picking up again around 6 PM. So we were slumbering on the floor of this shelter, along with many others. The room was wall-to-wall with people lying on mats if they had them (we didn’t, just another thing to carry) or on their unrolled sleeping bags. We were glad to have a space indoors. The officials in charge of the shelter arrived and made an announcement of which I understood nothing, but it seemed they were listing towns in Spain. The person next to me nudged me saying you have come from beyond Pamplonas, haven’t you ? Oh, yes, we had, Pamplonas was not far from the French-Spanish border and we had started our second portion of the Way a couple days on the French side of the border. It was as if we were honoured ones of some sort. We were given beds in the proper bedrooms upstairs which had been locked until that moment. The room was cool since the shutters had been drawn. A sort of heaven ! I didn’t feel we were any kind of saint or anything, we had just kept plodding on, but now it was amounting to something.
(Sorry, the image is lost due to the demise of Multiply.)
Empanada, a specialty of that area
Tomorrow I feel like some sort of celebration. I have my watercolour class and my husband will be at work. I think I will bake some cookies to share, even though the others have not done this fasting, they may enjoy a mini-fête.
In different parts of the world, the day may be celebrated on a different day due to whether or not one sees or can possibly see the new moon after the sun sets. Some feel that everyone ought to celebrate on the same day, as if the different days indicates a discord. However, day over the Earth does not occur at the same time—it is a process, it spreads, it turns, and God watches it, He who calls Himself “the spread one”.
“The dawn, I follow; the evening, I follow, over all of the suns.”
The Revelation of Arès XXXVIII/12
This photo was taken at about a forty minute walk from Santiago de Compostela. In other words, we were almost there, after about 1750 km walking. I waited a good fifteen minutes for the cloud to go in front of the sun.
In praying from the Bible (Old and New Testaments), the Qur’an, and The Revelation of Arès, it is surprising at times to see the same thing come up in several of them. Today it was the following:
Practice goodness and justice, and constantly trust in your God. Hosea 12:76
C’est par votre persévérance que vous acquerrez la vie. Luc 21:19
O man, you have to strive and go on striving towards your Lord, then you will meet Him. Al Qur’an “ The Cleaving“ 84:6
When I checked the King James Version for the English text of the verse in Luke, I found “In your patience possess ye your souls.” This was so different from the French, I decided to check out a few other translations.
Staying with it, that’s what is required. Stay with it to the end. You won’t be sorry; you’ll be saved.
By your steadfastness and patient endurance you shall win the true life of your souls.
(New Living Translation)
By standing firm, you will win your souls.
(English Standard Version)
By your endurance you will gain your lives.
(Contemporary English Version)
You will be saved by being faithful to me.
(American Standard Version)
In your patience ye shall win your souls.
(Today’s New International Version)
Stand firm, and you will win life.
You get the idea, hence the title…