So Jesus said to the Jews who believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32
As we planned we met Pastor Dick at the Triacastela bus stop and bussed it 12 km forward to Samos, site of the famous Benedictine monastery. I think we nievely knocked on the front door thinking they would open it but there was no answer. There were several other doors but no signs inviting one to enter. Reluctantly we decided to cross the street and have a café con laite. Dave was not feeling well and having difficulty swallowing. Both Marie and Dick counselled him to get his throat checked out.
So that is what we did. Dick walked on while Dave and Marie stopped at a convenient clinic a block away. After checking my OHIP card and asking me to fill in a form, I was ushered into a doctor’s room. Trouble was I did not speak Spanish and the doctor did not speak English. Luckily the nurse spoke French and Spanish. I was able to answer their questions in French with the nurse doing the 2-way translating. It was strep throat. The female doctor issued me prescriptions for 2 kinds of antibiotics. We found a pharmacia and purchased the drugs. We were on our way again in less than an hour! The cost was minimal and Dave would soon be feeling better.
So off we walked the remaining 13 km to Sarria. It was a bit of a grind and we had not stopped to buy any snacks for later. We arrived in Sarria and checked into the Los Blasones refugio. Dave went to sleep for 2 hours. When we went out again about 6 PM we were very hungry. All restaurants and food stores were closed – cerado, cerado, cerado – until 8PM! So we decided to go to the 7 PM pilgrim Mass at the Santa Marina church just down the street.
Dave remembers being so hungry and weak, he almost toppled over during Mass. However he experienced a special revelation there. Feeling light headed, I remember gazing around the church at it’s art work, the cross, the statues of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, the Priest and wondering if it is all true? i.e. is Christianity and the Church’s witness really true, or just a nice story that we have come to believe in? Momentarily… the answer came back to me, from God himself it seemed, that yes it is indeed all true! That was an epiphany I will never forget. It was a transforming moment!
After Mass we stumbled out, found the nearest restaurant and had a meal in appreciation of the day. Sarria is a special place that we will not soon forget. We would like to go back to this church someday and give thanks.