Post 22 – July 17, 2018. The Camino de Assisi. Do you need a prayer closet?

The Camino de Assisi. 
The Way of St Francis.
Italy: From Florence to Assisi, then on to Rome. Trek For A Dream.  
Post 22: July 17, 2018, Tuesday.  In Rieti.  Still hot!  And now raining.  
In Rieti, Italy. Gone 37 days.  Day 35 on The Way.
Do you need a prayer closet? 

Yes.  You need a prayer closet.  Yes, I need a prayer closet.  For solitude and meditation.  

I made it to Santuario di Greccio with the help of my great new Italian friends, Tony Dimaggio and Sandro Faraglia.  Over and over again in the Franciscan monasteries established by St. Francis you see that he, in essence, had a prayer closet.  His own place to go for “prayer and meditaion,” or sometimes it is written as his special place for “prayer and contemplation.”  And it’s usually a cave, or a place carved out of a mountainside or rock.  Literally carved out.  Like his prayer closet at Santuario di Greccio.  Clearly, St. Francis always had his special place where he would go, alone, to be close to God.  And those places are remembered . . . 800 years later.  This makes me want to build out a prayer closet at home in Santa Monica.  And it’s not like I have to carve it out of a rock, or mountainside.  And, after reading all the commentary on St. Francis, I can see how important it is, and easy to establish.  I was thinking that he must of had plenty of time for “contemplation” walking these trails that I’m now walking, but, no matter what I think through, . . . he still, obviously needed a prayer closet.  And, I see all the miracles and how they were connected to . . . all the precious time he spent . . . in his special place, which we in the modern world see as a simple, yet powerful, and dedicated,  . . . prayer closet.  

Yes.  I’m still going.  It continues to be a very hard trek for one main reason: It’s really hot!  And, the second reason: There’s very few, maybe no other pilgrims along the way.  None that I’m seeing right now, but maybe I will meet some late this afternoon when I make it to Agriturismo Santa Giusta in Poggio San Lorenzo.  Marco, at the Agriturismo will give me the latest.  The “report” on the Camino. So, I’ve gone from Piediluco to Poggio Bustone and now I’m in Rieti, and about to leave.  It’s 6:30 a.m. here, and slightly raining, as it rained most of the night.  Because of the heat, I’ve holed up in Piazza Vittorio Emanuel in the “aging but elegant Grande Albergo Quattro Stagioni” which is the first suggestion of a place to stay in my Sandy Brown guidebook on page 218.  But, now, it’s time to leave.  

At Santuario di Greccio I had some good prayer time with the Prayer Cards.  I laid them at the foot of the altar, and said my prayers.  I spent some time with one of the monks, and he added some powerful prayers also.  And, once again, the Prayer Cards were an inspiration to those in the chapel and to my friends Tony and Sandro.  These requests continue to amaze me.  I note Brandon’s prayer to have a family and to be an amazing parent and person.  And Kilee, who is praying to break the generational curse of depression in her family.  I love the prayer requests of Duke from Jamaica who in addition to other great things, really just wants to see . . “what God has in store for me.”  Like all of us, right?   Brett’s prayer is to join the navy.  . . .  Let’s all pray for these great and very inspiring Prayer Requests!  They are so beautiful.  I’m very thankful to be carrying them all along the Way of St. Francis.  — You know, it turns out that St. Francis, and St. Clare were moved and inspired by the very same Bible that we love.  The same verses, the same stories, everything.  It truly is the same yesterday, and today, and tomorrow.  And, I still think Francis and Clare would say . . . 

. . . find yourself a prayer closet.  For your chance to really hear what God wants to say to you.  

Amen.  I miss you all.  And, only five more days until Rome!

Tom  

 

Francis’ prayer closet at Santuario di Greccio.

 

Francis’ path down to his special place for prayer and contemplation, his prayer closet.

 

The chapel at Santuario di Greccio.  Do you see the Prayer Cards?

I enjoyed some time, and prayer time, with a monk friend at Santuario di Greccio.  He had noticed my placing the Prayer Cards at the foot of the altar.  He gave some good thoughts and directions for my prayers.  Sort of like getting a Spiritual map.  And it was good.

Sandro Faraglia, Tony Dimaggio, and Maria.  Wow, Maria really fed us at her little restaurant in Greccio.  You know, I’m not so sure I will actually lose weight on this trip.  Maria fed us a . . . lot!  Wow.  And that happens a . . . lot!  And I really want to thank Tony and Sandro for really watching out for me for a couple of days.  I love the Italians.  They are so nice and so quick to be great and loving friends.