Friday, August 11, 2023

Emotional Roller Coaster

 Day 8 - St. Come D’olt

     Because of lodging availability we had a short day’s walk. After an hour of dealing with bills and forms through texting with Calvin back home, we started our descent towards our day’s destination.  Esther’s blister was hurting and we began to get a little discouraged about things.  Did we bite off more than we can chew?  Will our bodies hold up?  Can we finish in time?  We were looking forward to staying at a convent tonight but were anxious about the next few nights.  The town of Conques is coming up and it has its yearly festival on Tuesday.  (Kind of like Octoberfest in Leavenworth) 

   We arrived at the convent and were able to stash our packs and explore the medieval town of Saint-Come-d’Olt.  It felt like walking through a medieval movie set.  The town was eerily quiet in the middle of the day.  Aside from a couple of lively restaurants, the town was shut down. (typical of French towns shut down from 12:30 pm until 3 or 4 pm). After lunch at a sidewalk sandwich shop, we headed back to the convent on the outskirts for an early check in.  We were surprised to find that they could not find our reservation though I know I had made it.  I was able to show them their number on my phone history, but they couldn’t find anything.  They gave us the last room available-a private room!  

    We spent the remainder of the afternoon, frantically trying to reserve a room for Sunday night.  We went to what we thought was evening vespers that turned out to be mass.  In the middle of the service my phone went off and I rushed out in hopes of a possible reservation.  Unfortunately, it was to no avail and I let Esther finish mass without me.  I kept trying to make reservations, but I was becoming increasingly frustrated.  Right before dinner we were able to make a reservation.  Things started looking up! 

   Dinner was cafeteria style and we found seats by ourselves, thinking we were in for a‘lonely dinner’ listening to French.  Suddenly,  Father Patrick who had presided over the mass and had been interrupted by a rude American with a cell phone, sat down next to us, and in very good English started engaging us in conversation. We had a delightful conversation.  He is a theology professor who specializes in the history of St. Ignatius.  After I told him that we were using ‘Spiritual Exercises’ by Ignatius for our daily meditation, I was able to pick his brain.  It turns out that he has written books on the‘Spiritual Exercises’ and will be teaching at Oxford for the next couple of years.  Needless to say I was on cloud nine tonight.  I am grateful to the Lord for reassuring us of his love and care for us.  Thank you Father Patrick!

1 comment:

secondborn said...

What an amazing experience in being able to talk to Father Patrick and all the connections to Spiritual Exercises! As you say, a reassurance of God at work for you along this journey.