Stage 33, Oct 8, Hospital Alta da Cruz to Melide, 27.1km, total time 7:05 hrs

The belt is coming short of holes to tie up my pants. With the Swiss Army knife I managed to drill a few more, in the attempt to maintain a dignified posture holding my pants up. I am not sure of how many kg I’ve lost, but from the baggy appearance of my pants, I guess I’ve shrunk by two sizes at least. In relative terms I probably eat one half of my normal  intake, and I do 10 times more exercise. If my metabolism has not radically changed since I started, I run the risk of exploding by the time I resume my ordinary and sedentary lifestyle.

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There are situations around certain people or places, that you can immediately relate to aN extraordinary radiating energy. Often words fall short in being able to describe what is the special atmosphere surrounding such people or places, but you can sense the superior spirituality which springs out of some open spaces amidst secular oaks, or certain monoliths covered with mildew stains as they were placed there much before the dawn of mankind by some foreign presence.

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Likewise it happens with certain people who, if I were a stronger believer than I actually am, would probably be incarnations of angels. They look at you directly into the eyes, and you immediately are connected to them forever.

I met Father Xavier casually through common acquaintances and we exchanged just a few words. After I started my inner work on the 7DS, I was in the need to compare my notes with a shepherd of lost souls, and so Xavier seemed the best opportunity for electing him as my sponsor for the dissecting project of my own human nature.

When I met him the second time at a crossroad, he was consuming a frugal meal of fruits. He looked at me with half banana still in his hand, while in less than a minute I vomited upon him all findings so far and my anguish and anxiety to receive a feedback on my research on the forces motivating the sinful behavior in the human nature.

“Xavier, I said, I am confused since I draw a lot more joy and happiness from sinning than I have from practicing a life of virtue. All these “good” behaviors, seem to be unnatural and paved with enormous probation and sacrifice. How can this generate joy?”

“Roberto, he answered, what you are describing is an attempt to attain sainthood. There are much smaller steps to be taken.” He then suggested to reflect on my experience to realize that the joy and happiness resulting from indulging in a sinful behaviour is of materialistic nature and often of short duration. On the contrary, the practice of the virtue, is of higher intensity and longlasting. “For instance, he added, your sharing with me your doubts is an act of Humility which is indeed helping me in facing the doubts of my own”.

Later he made me reflect on how the concept of sacrifice is often associated just to a forced abstinence.  Unless you can attain “sobriety” from a particular DS and therefore freedom of choice, your mind will always pull you down to the fake pleasure of sin. He used expressions often associated to the psychological dependency from substances. “Yes, he concluded, sinning is like taking drugs. You know they will kill you, at least spiritually, but you often cannot break free on your own will. What you need is a spiritual program that can guide you out. May this Camino be the spiritual program that will help you to break free from your own patterns”.

These comments are now shaping up my program. It is somewhat clearer now. I took a simple quiz on the Internet which highlighted which of the 7DS is representing my typical sinning pattern. I have to do some serious work: I have 1 DS as very high, two as high, two as medium and two as low or negligible. Will I be able to make it now that Santiago Is only 51 km away?

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