When we stayed in Burgos, we stayed in a very pretty old hotel called Mason de El Cid. He is an important person born just outside of Burgos and buried in the Cathedral there. A warrior that was legendary, respected and feared by many, though as I read it a bit of a mercenary.
But the cathedral in which he was buried and that we could see from our room was amazing! We toured it rather quickly but it was less like a church and more like a complicated museum with one chapel built and then another so that there isn’t much unity to the structure but each chapel is overwhelming with its art and beauty. We did manage to catch the end of a Mass there in a chapel in this huge cathedral that wouldn’t even hold the 50 people that were there. We had to stand.
They lit the cathedral up at night which was majestic, and then the sun rose behind it with lots of colors…amazing. But it wasn’t so much the Camino, so we didn’t stay an extra day, but moved on. We had to find money and groceries before we left the city, so we were delayed. I spoke of feeling resistance, and distance from God. My left foot was a bit out of whack so we had to go slow. We decided to cut the day shorter than the book and end our day at Hornillos de Camino which was 20 kilometers instead of nearly 30.
On our way into town a charming Irish woman gave us a strawberry and invited us to her restaurant at the end of town. It was called The Green Tree. We had an amazing, celebratory evening there. In the middle of old Spain was this magical place that was kind of alternative with open mic singing, international foods ( curry, kimchi, redbeans and rice) and a crowd happy to join in. We sat with Xandra and Andrea, teachers from Missouri that we befriended the first day. They are about 25.
During this fun, musical evening we got the text that Fr. Jim had died. Actually Mary texted that “Your prayers are answered, he is now at peace” How beautiful! And in a way it was just that much more fitting that we sang joyfully at his peace and freedom…he can now sing again himself in heaven, and they must be ecstatic to have his beautiful voice!
When we got back to the room, we saw the calls that William had given us, and we called him back. He had even been so loving as to call us from Jim’s room when he went to Atria after he got word. It was a blessing to connect with William and share our love and happiness that Jim is now free and in the hands of our loving God.
We played some of Jim’s favorite Church music before we went to sleep. Today we visited the Church of the Assumption which was miraculously open and hand candles to light as they played a recording of taize music in order to make money to renovate the church. We lit a large candle for Jim…a white resurrection candle and placed it right in the middle where he would like it. I noticed how light I felt today, almost as if I had been freed somewhat along with Jim.
(Jerry’s note) There is a lot of time to reflect, pray and talk on the Camino. Deb and I talked a lot about Jim and his life. It felt good to hold Jim and SJV in our prayers. It sometimes feels as if all of you are walking with us. We prayed today that this would be a special time for SJV as the community celebrates Jim’s life and mourns his loss.