Last night I spent the night in the village with oldest church, tonight I stay in Samos, the village with the oldest monastery in Spain. And the Benedictine monks are still here praying the Hours of the Liturgy everyday. The buildings are magnificent, but upon my arrival, the doors are locked. They are supposed to open soon and many of us wait for the turn of the lock and an open door.
This seems to be a theme throughout this Camino and the first one, two years ago. Locked doors, locked churches and locked monasteries don’t make fertile grounds for welcome and evangelization. There is something very wrong with this picture.
The locked doors of churches might very well be symbols of locked doors to the human heart. I hear a sound now…. the lock is being turned and an actual living monk comes out and says, “un momento,” and the door opens. I will finish this reflection while the doors are still open and I can get inside…
Back again. The monk let us inside….a gift shop !!!! We waited to get inside a gift shop so he could sell us tickets for the guided tour. I bought one and at least got to see where the monks live and the majestic church where they pray, but it was all in Spanish so just spent time in front of an old painting of our patron : Teresa of Avila. Best part of the tour for me , which when complete , the doors were shut in an instant.
We all must see how our own hearts need to be open so the Lord can enter freely breathing peace and joy. A closed heart, like a closed door, prevents life from entering and leaving. We embrace only to let go and trust that new life will enter and it always does.
Buen camino. Fr. Frank