Like many of you Caminoheads, The General is on my mind a lot as I walk the journey. I often see mentions that “Phil would have loved that comment/picture/person/action.” I especially think of the smile and glow of his eyes as he engaged in conversation, verbal or not, with others. One thing that I am sure he would comment upon is stuck in my head and I invite you to comment on your reaction to this idea.
I am not a Catholic and I’m not too experienced with reciting prayers or sacraments but I got the idea in the years preparing for my Camino walk to meditate on a PHRASE of sacred language each day. In keeping with the promise that the Camino provides, I found a tiny bible book in Virginia someplace and decided it was for me. It contains many scripture passages that are worth having in one’s pocket if not in one’s memory.
I started my meditation with The Lord’s Prayer:
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
So that first day walking out of St Jean Pied de Port I said to myself over and over “Our Father, who art in heaven” on my way to Orisson. I don’t recall any special feeling about that experience, but the next day on my long walk over the Pyrenees mountains witnessing creation in a special way I repeated and thought about “hallowed be thy name,” something fresh for me to think about and put in perspective that got me as far as Roncesvilles. “… thy kingdom come;” a concept often taught in the church accompanied me to Larrasoaña. Celebrating a restful night in Spain I took on the longer phrase “thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” And that phrase took me into new territory emotionally.
Here I repeated the words ‘in heaven’ for the second time in this exercise. The first day I understood it as God’s address – Heaven – and this fourth day “in Heaven” came to me in another way.
Here comes Phil’s smile and that glow in his eyes. Ready?
What I felt was that this second “in Heaven” wasn’t an address we hope to call home one day but more like “in Love,” which is God, inviting me to dwell therein. And for me the Camino was this kind of heaven as I accepted the love of so many others and came to be comfortable with being in love/in heaven with them as well.
On hearing this can you see Phil turning his head to look into your eyes as you walk alongside him on his Camino? Can you see how In Heaven he is on a daily basis? Can you see yourself there as well? May we be one …
In Heaven Love,
13 thoughts on “In Heaven (By BC Ron)”
Thank You Ron for these words of wisdom.
I am sure that Phil is smiling at this moment.
I will watch the service tomorrow.
I spoke with Rebecca this evening.
I am especially looking forward to Phil and Rebecca’s daughter reading the Eulogy.
Love to All.
See you later William!
Thank you for calling Rebecca… I have not called her yet, but I feel with your call she knows you speak in the name of many of us…
Looking forward to the service.
Hola William, muchas gracias.
Yes the service was a great time to be able to gather again and share words and sacraments that nourish Phil.
I loved his daughter’s remarks about God loving a Phil. We do too!
Ron, that was sublime. Thank you.
Thy will be done.
He knows how to touch us, right?
Hugs to you!
Thank you, Barbara. Hugs!
Yes, absolutely, Ron. You have captured the essence of both the Lord’s Prayer and Phil’s penetrating look and loving smiles. When I met and walked with him and Kelly in 2014 on the Camino, he was so euphoric just to be there that we all shut up about our blisters and the terrible heat on the meseta and remembered why we were doing it in the first place. He was so attentive to the young people we encountered, many of whom were at a crossroads in their lives and searching for ‘something else, something more’. I don’t think he ever gave unsolicited advice but just listened and smiled into their eyes to let them know that he believed they could do it. And when we stayed at a cafe too late to get beds in an albergue in Carrion de los Condes, we 3 had to share a hotel room and hilarity ensued. He posted on the blog, ‘this is the most fun I’ve had since 7th grade summer camp!’
I will definitely be there for the service tomorrow, knowing it isn’t really good-bye but a celebration, because the mark of a Christian is joy.
Dear Mary Margaret,
I so very much agree with you on this post… I talked to Phil on his last Thursday here… we talked about the crossroad I am in and some decisions I have made, and that is what he did: he smiled into my eyes, he said he was praying for me, and that he was sure I could do it…
I read your comment and I cried for 15 min non stop.
Thank you for the reminder.
See you later!
Thank you, Mary. What a wonderful experience to walk with Phil and Kelly. You captured that relationship focus in the ‘listened and smiled into their eyes’ that is his signature.
I think Phil is looking at us over his glasses, exclaiming: “Oh Oh, we are into something here!!!”
What a beautiful post… I just LOVE your writing… please keep it coming!!!
Lots of love and hugs.
See you later,
Thank you Cris. I spent many hours since Phil Arrived thinking of the many people in my life life who have passed away and the generous love we shared. Friday was the anniversary of my father’s death.and as my sister commented his life was relationship-focused. I guess I inherited that from him as I agree that relationships yield the most rewards in my life too. I think Phil would agree with that as well.
Very well said.Like you I’m not Catholic,nor Protestant,nor anything really….but I suppose that the nearest I’d be is a panentheist.I have a feeling that it’s all One and we remerge with it upon our demise but I don’t really know.Modern science can tell us a lot about the how the universe works but nothing about the why but perhaps there is no why it just is?All very strange however how everything on Earth’s just right for life to have developed and science to explain this gives us an endless multiverse of universes and we just happen to be in the one that is right for life maybe they are right but if they are not then it’s opens a lot of questions.I tend to go with Plotinus’s rather ancient ideas being born nearly 2000 years ago in Alexandria, Egypt that our universe, and by extension us,is part of a series of emanations from what Plotinus called the One,a modified version of Plato’s the Good, and it is to the One we return although as it infused the universe itself we where never really apart.Well I suppose nothing can be apart from the One as there is nothing else.
Thank you, kevan. Yes, I think that I can share that ‘One’ concept with you and Plotinus as being enough understanding to go on putting one foot in front of another until we find more answers to the mysteries of life.
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