Sunday is normally a day of reflection for me. This morning I decided to re-read sections of my friend Ermanno Aiello's book, 'Forever a Pilgrim'. Ermanno walked the Camino in 2007 and still lights up whenever he talks to you about his experiences during those few weeks in Spain.
Today I lingered on page 132 of his book where he talks about a very special personal experience.
As an introduction to the piece that really spoke to me, I quote:
'To know something but not to feel it are two totally different things. To know what hunger is is not the same as to feel what hunger is, or to know what poverty is but to never have known poverty is not the same.
I knew that I had to love God with my whole heart, my whole soul, my whole mind, my whole body but had I really known how and with what to feel it?
Had I ever felt the deep, deep burning sensation in my very core which Christ referred to as 'your whole heart' , which is, I realized, much more than that organ but the very centre of my being, where all emotions reside?
This is the very place where, I believe, one's love for God has it's origins. From there this love expands to embrace and fill the entire soul, that wonderful, eternal breath of God within each one of us, which cries out with love for God in its own voice which is unlike any human voice.'
He continues a bit further down the page with the following piece - the part that really fills me with anticipation for the experiences awaiting me on my own journey!
'It was here, in this beautiful place where I had stopped on my camino, that I felt the searing warmth of my love for God for the first time in my life - deep, deep within me.
I could feel my soul, my mind and my body responding to this feeling and I stood there in silence, unable to move. It was here too, that I realized that, no matter how beautiful nature's scenery is, one is only seeing a very small reflection of God. To really see God one has to look for Him in the eyes of one's neighbour who is dying of Aids, or in the eyes of a starving child, or in the eyes of anyone who is suffering but who we, more often than not, purposely avoid seeing.
When I finally did move on it was with an inner peace like I had never felt before. The peace that only Christ can give when we begin to love as we should.'