Faith and Spirituality

[OPINION] The Camino de Santiago walk: On faith and the law

Francis Lim

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[OPINION] The Camino de Santiago walk: On faith and the law
The Camino walk and the law encompass varied terrains and encounters, presenting various challenges and opportunities – and demanding mental and moral determination

Last October, a group of friends, principally composed of “seniors,” embarked on a 114-kilometer Camino walk from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Today, we share some reflections from this extraordinary trip.

The Camino walk, like our journey in life, is a tapestry of experiences and encounters. Just as the Camino path presents an interesting medley of terrains, our life is a bittersweet combination of challenges and triumphs. From the easy stretches to the steep ascents and descents, we walk through narrow and wide roads, experiencing moments of frustration, fulfillment, and everything in between.

Along the way, we meet peregrinos from different parts of the world, each with his own reason to do the Camino walk. The Camino serves as a microcosm of existence, reminding us of the diversity and interconnectedness that interface in our life.

Body, mind and nature

Walking the Camino, stretching across diverse terrains, is an amazing physical and mental endeavor.

As our bodies grow weary, we discover an unexpected reservoir of resilience. The journey demands physical stamina, but as the days pass, we witness how our bodies adapt, becoming stronger and more capacitated. Simultaneously, our minds undergo some form of  transformation. The challenges we face on the Camino act as catalysts, stimulating mental fortitude and confidence. It is a testament to the incredible capacity for resilience and growth that lies within each of us.

Camino’s enchanting landscapes, the gentle fondle of fresh air, the heat from the mid-noon sun, the dance of raindrops, and the whisper of winds plunge us in a symphony of natural wonders. The changing weather, forests, fruit trees, and the sight of wildlife along the way enchant our hearts. We become attuned to the subtle scents that float through the air, weaving the aroma of nature with the essence of human presence. We reconnect with Mother Nature.

Unburdening the mind

As we continue the Camino trek, time seems to slow, allowing us to dig deeply into the present moment. The Camino invites us to release the burdens of the mind and embrace the peace and silence that surround us. In the peace and quiet of the moment, we remember in prayer friends and people who have touched our lives. The stillness of the journey enables us to truly appreciate the beauty of Creation and irresistibly thank God for bestowing it upon us, undeserving though we may be.

Many pilgrims embark on this Camino walk seeking a deeper meaning in life, a spiritual connection with themselves. Every kilometer of walk unveils invaluable insights and profound experiences. It untangles the threads of our thoughts and rediscovers the depths of our hearts, providing answers to many unanswered questions that reside within. It is a voyage that uncovers the hidden truths and offers a space for self-reflection and self-discovery.

The Camino becomes a sanctuary for those who seek not only physical endurance but spiritual reconnection as well.

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Camino walk and the law

As a lawyer, I couldn’t help but compare the Camino walk with the law.

While seemingly disparate, they share remarkable similarities. Both encompass varied terrains and encounters, presenting various challenges and opportunities, and demanding mental and moral determination. Whether on the sacred pilgrimage or within the legal system, these journeys offer opportunities for personal growth and resilience, and a deeper understanding of our quest for peace and justice in our society.

My wife Edy and I were blessed with the company of Danny and Lorraine Feliciano, Ricky and Annette Gutierrez, Eckie and Moppet Gonzales and their daughters Kayelle and Muriel, Sonny and Vicky Gancayco, Luigi Sison (our official photographer) and Mimi Kahn, and VicVic and Amee Nable. Of course, to our Camino guides – Javier and Alberto – whose calming presence and “extra mile” service lightened the load of our 9-day Camino walk.   

Our companions’ different backgrounds and walks of life added unique colors to the tapestry of our journey. We shared experiences and stories, likes and dislikes, laughter and hardships along the way. Our memories from the trip are a testament to the enduring spirit of the Camino. It surely strengthened our bonds of friendship which, hopefully, like the Camino with a history of over a thousand years, will withstand the test of time.

More than a physical trip, the Camino walk is a journey of the soul. It represents the diverse pathways in life. The journey is a time well spent re-awakening to nature and the surrounding beauty, providing space for inner peace and self-discovery, making friends and strengthening relationships, presenting opportunities and challenges to become stronger and resilient, and providing a perfect platform to commune with oneself and one’s God.

We will embrace the lessons learned along this sacred route and carry them with us as we continue our own unique journeys in life. – Rappler.com

The author is a senior legal counsel of ACCRALAW and may be contacted at felim@accralaw.com or francis.ed.lim@gmail.com.

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