A Prayer for the Camino

A fellow Peregrina (she and I met through a blog we both follow) posted this beautiful prayer today in response to a blog posted by Bill Bennett.  I will be joining Bill and several others to walk the Camino Portugués next week.

The prayer is so beautiful and meaningful, I thought I would share it with my followers.

From the Painted Prayerbook
by Jan. L. Richardson

If you could see the journey whole
You might never undertake it;
Might never dare the first step
That propels you from the place you have known
Toward the place you know not.

Call it one of the mercies of the road
That we see it only by stages as it opens before us,
As it comes into keeping step by single step.

There is nothing for it but to go
And by our going take the vows the pilgrim takes:
-to be faithful to the next step;
-to rely on more than the map;
-to heed the signposts of intuition and dream;
-to follow the star that only you will recognize;
-to keep an open eye for the wonders that attend the path;
-to press on beyond distractions, beyond fatigue, beyond what would tempt you from the way.
There are vows that only you will know;
The secret promises for your particular path
And the new ones you will need to make
When the road is revealed by turns you could not have foreseen.
Keep them, break them, make them again:
Each promise becomes part of the path;
Each choice creates the road that will take you to the place where at last you will kneel
To offer the gift most needed
The gift that only you can give
Before turning to go home by another way.


13 responses to “A Prayer for the Camino

  1. Such touching, beautiful words and I love that rocky path pictured. The poem speaks to those who are traveling the Camino and to all who are of this earth, this life…………………a certain kind of commandments on how to live life! Beautiful for sure ~


  2. Thanks so much for sharing this beautiful poem prayer, Arlene, and for including the wonderful photo. The well wishes that our PGS sibling sent to you and all who are going with Bill and Jen, in this most exceptional way, really does touch my heart.
    Take joy in every step – Jenny


    • Jenny,
      I am so looking forward to the day we can meet face to face. You are truly a jewel of a person. The photo you probably recognize as one of the roads near the beginning of the Camino Francés.


      • Hi Arlene – I’m really looking forward to the day when we can meet in person too – I feel that we have so much in common. Thank you for your lovely sentiments – I really appreciate them. I’ll be with you all in spirit this Camino and with you all in person next time.
        Take joy in every step –
        Jenny xx


  3. That is awesome, Buen Camino, we will be enjoying this from afar. Xo


  4. Arlene,
    Buen Camino!! I look forward to reading your blog and getting to follow all the fun! Travel mercies!



  5. Somewhat to my surprise, these words struck a chord in me “There are vows that only you will know…Keep them, break them, make them again.” Buen camino. – Clare


  6. Dear Arlene, my thoughts are with you as you’re getting ready to meet up with Bill and Jennifer. Have the most wonderful time; and please keep us posted on what’s happening with the mosaics you might be making in and around The Way. 🙂 Britta


    • Britta,
      This surely will be a hoot. The PGS siblings and the Godfather of us all leading the Way to Santiago. I can picture him now a true Australian Pied Piper shooting photographs along the way with the rest of us following aimlessly along! This will be something for the record books.
      As for the mosaic, the hotelier has postponed the creation until possibly next year. I’m looking at it as an excuse to go back to the Camino, like I really need one!


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