"A new friend is like a new wine- when it has aged, you drink it with pleasure." Sirach 9:10
I began the week as a stranger among friends, but it did not last. The CA Mission Walkers embraced me, took the time to get to know me, and made me feel like I was an old friend in just a matter of days. It was actually a joy, rather than a trial, to walk the equivalent of 2 marathons over 5 days with them.
Being the newbie in the group, each person actively took the time to check on how I was doing and to simply visit with me as we traversed the varied CA landscape. We laughed, told stories, and several of us even prayed the Rosary together. I truly enjoyed hearing tales of previous walks, learning about CA agriculture and history, and getting to know each of them in turn.
Besides the physical challenge of my walk, I wanted it to be a pilgrimage. While we didn't have a priest join us on the route to offer daily Mass, I was blessed with time at the end of each day to spend at the Missions' adoration chapels. Even just an hour before the blessed sacrament, after a day of physically pushing myself, was enough to feed my soul and give my body more energy to complete the day.
Before leaving for the walk, I wondered how the Holy Spirit would reveal himself to me during the week. In retrospect, I see His plan for delighting me by showing God's glory through the light of His children. From shared meals to learning personal stories of trial and triumph, I found the light of Christ in each of them.
I'm already planning for my next walk with them. Siempre Adelante!
I borrowed Pam Ray's picture of our group from the CA Mission Walker's Facebook page. Such a great group of new friends!