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With Purpose

Gillian Kantor

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

"Do you want to say a little decade?" is a predictable question coming from my husband when we get into the car to drive anywhere that takes longer than five minutes.
Also predictable is my teasing him on the adjective "little" (as opposed to a "big, huge" decade), after which, yes, we pray our decade and get to our destination.
David loves the Rosary. He appreciates the repitition, the purpose, the request to our Mother in Heaven for her prayers and mercy. But, admittedly, it wasn't always a prayer that I wanted to participate in. I often felt distracted, removed, distant.
Until - this past February, David and I walked the Camino de Santiago, trekking 500 km across Northern Spain. Everyday for 25 days we'd wake up, repack our bags, tie up our boots, and get out the door for eight hours of walking, walking, resting, and walking. And what else could we do for those eight hours but talk... and pray.
We decided before we even started walking the Camino that, every day, we would choose someone or something to pray for. We would offer up this intention in a Rosary and, for the rest of the day, any struggles, pains, steep inclines, rocky roads, or bad weather would be tackled in the name of this intention. And so on day number one we began, starting our walk by praying the Rosary.
We grew to love so many different pieces of the Camino - the people, the food, the views. But encompassing all this was the uncomplicated purpose of everyday... that routine of getting up, repacking our bags, tying our boots, and getting out the door joyfully simplified our lives. All we had to do, each day, was walk, take care of each other, and pray. And soon, that delightful simplicity could be heard in our voices as we prayed. I began to understand that repetition of prayer that David has always enjoyed - I tasted each word, I thrived on its intent, and I gratefully gave it to our Lady in prayer. She joyfully simplified our lives.
Today, we are back at work, back at schedules and appointments, back at tackling more complicated lives... but each day begins by getting into the car for the short drive to the GO train. "Do you want to say a little decade?" my husband will ask.

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