As I prepare for my pilgrimage at The way of Saint James o El camino de Santiago, in Spain; the expectation and emotions build up in my heart. The mystery of what God has prepared for me and how my Lord plans to encounter me fills my hearts with love, faith and hope. I feel so blessed, and it feels like a privilege to participate in this pilgrimage, this sweet cross that our Lord has entrusted me. This cross will nurture my relationship with God, with my sisters and it will teach me life changing lessons (it already has).
The way of Saint James is a condensed picture of a life-lasting journey. The journey includes highs and lows, periods of hunger and thirst, and periods of feast and laughs. The privilege of this “sweet cross” is for all of us, the pilgrims that will be at Spain, and the pilgrims that stay with everyday battles. Preparing for the Journey I have learned, that it does not matter the place; the good news is that our Lord has found us, He chose us. We should see the suffering of each day as a privilege, the privilege to participate in the cross of our Lord. The sacrifice that Jesus Christ did is perfect, nothing is missing, but our suffering… always united to the suffering of our Lord in the Cross… acquires immense value for our salvation and the salvation of the ones around us.
When my feet hurt, and the weight of the backpacks upset my shoulders, I will try to give it up to God. I will offer these small sacrifices for a greater purpose, for all those that have asked for my prayer, for all those that are praying for us and for my personal intentions. This is a lesson for our everyday life.
Not so long, our Lord introduced Chiara Corbella to me, a true witness of joy. Our Lord entrusted to her the cross to lose two babies. Their lives only lasted 30 and 38 minutes, but that time that was enough for Chiara and her husband, Enrico, to meet them with great joy, baptize them, and entrusted them with great Love to God. Their third child was born healthy, but she was diagnosed with Cancer during her pregnancy. She, selflessly decided to wait for treatment until the baby was born. Baby Francesco was born on May 30th 2011. Chiara diminished in her health, but her heart was full of joy, because she had the blessing of holding her child, and the blessing of having a holy husband by her side. Everyone was expecting that God would work miracles giving her the gift of health, but God was working miracles all along in Chiara and Enrico’s hearts, and in those around them, with conversions, and now serving as an example for my own pilgrimage. They both understood the cross as a sweet cross (in fact “molto dolce” very sweet) recognizing that God was with them on this journey, guiding their steps, strengthening them. Chiara passed away on June 13, 2012. She did not asked to our Lord, please take this cross away, Chiara said “yes” , a joyful YES! That truly moves my heart.
When I read her story, all that I could think was how she did it… how is this possible, and she answers: Piccoli Passi Possibile, small steps can. In fact, small steps full of Joy!, a Joy that only comes from holiness, from knowing our Lord near (even if you don’t feel him). I only hope that Chiara’s Journey can help you, as it has help me, to understand that taking small steps each day to live as our Lord has call us, is the only source of joy. The hope to see our Lord at the end of our life, and be welcome in heaven by our brother and sisters, is what makes every cross “molto dolce”. Not easy, but very sweet!
If you want to know more about Chiara you can visit this article and Her website