Pilgrimpace's Blog

“so complete a humility”

Reflecting further on the themes of gratitude and generosity that I have touched on in the last few posts, there is also something about how one is able to receive.

the first sign on the Camino Ingles, Calle de Santiago, A Coruna

It would, I guess be possible to walk a Camino with little or no interaction with people along the way and to receive very little.  I’m not sure what this would feel like.  I try hard not to impose or to expect things (two exceptions to this being on the Levante, on one occasion when I was lost and made a car stop for advice, and once when I had run out of water and was in danger of heat exhaustion).  But I suppose I do try to interact with people I meet along the way as much as possible.  My Spanish is limited (and I am determined to be reasonably fluent in a few years) but I try to speak to people, greeting them, asking them the way, if they know where a shop or bar is, talking about the Camino.  And people have been unfailingly kind in return.  You will find examples sprinkled through my posts on the Levante and the Ingles, although I have tried not to identify individuals along the Way.

I recently read this in Graham Greene’s Stamboul Train:

He was tied by her agreement, by her refusal to make any claim.  Before so complete a humility one could be nothing else but generous.

I’m not claiming this for myself, but there is something here about a state of being that helps others to act in a generous way.

On this Feast Of Christ the King, and as we begin to look towards Christmas, there is also clearly something here about the nature of Jesus Christ and how we should respond to him and to other people.


2 Comments so far
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‘Her refusal to make any claim’! And, faced with this, ‘one could be nothing else but generous’. Oh, this is the heart of it all. Deeply affected by this. We have all experienced such moments – I hope we all have – the opposite of grasping egotism, of capitalism, of self-interest, of self-promotion. And the rewards one gains in return! Let’s bring it completely into our lives.

Comment by The Solitary Walker

Robert – yes!!!

and it is one of my greatest pleasures to be reading a novel (and Stamboul Train is, as Greene says, nothing but an entertaining thriller) and stumbling across a snippet like this which I can live out of for a bit


Comment by pilgrimpace

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