The Way Is Made by Walking
The Word Guild Canadian Christian Writing Awards finalist
Pilgrimage is a spiritual discipline not many consider. Aren't the destinations far? Don't they involve a lot of time and walking? Just a few years ago, Arthur Paul Boers wasn't thinking about pilgrimage either. But he began to sense a deep call from God to walk the five-hundred-mile pilgrimage route known as Camino de Santiago, ending in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, at a cathedral that is said to hold the relics of the apostle James.
In these pages he opens to us his incredible story of renewed spirituality springing from an old, old path walked by millions before him. It's a story of learning to pray in new ways, embracing simplicity, forming community, living each day centered and focused, depending on God to provide. Joined by hundreds of others from all over the world, Boers points the way to deeper intimacy with God--a way made by walking in faith.
"Everything seems up for grabs, and nothing seems fulfilling any longer. But in this unassuming and engaging chronicle Arthur Boers shows that gravity and grace can be recovered step by step. And for those of us who can't go on a pilgrimage, there are wonderful lessons to be learned from one who did."
"Pack your fantasy knapsack; walk with Arthur Boers on the adventure of a lifetime, the five-hundred-mile pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. What a lively, sensitive, down-to-earth and deeply spiritual guide Boers is! His tales as a pilgrim will so captivate your imagination that you could find yourself in real time, walking stick in hand, making your way along that sacred path made holy by the faith of countless pilgrims."
"In a postmodern world in which time and space seem compressed and lives of leisure are driven by frenetic consumption, we should not be surprised that many have turned to the medieval practice of pilgrimage as a vital spiritual antidote. Arthur Boers's reflections from his pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago stand out for their honesty and gentle wisdom. As a Mennonite participating in a medieval Catholic spiritual discipline, Boers fills The Way Is Made by Walking with startling insights and fresh perspectives into the spiritual journey that all must make."
"I was already recommending this book before I finished reading it, for Arthur Paul Boers is an outstanding (yet humble) mentor, guiding our steps into the Way and ways of Jesus. He recounts his pilgrimage warmheartedly and at a trekker's pace so that we are gently invited to enter into it and engage in its lessons. If you walk with him on the ancient path he treads, you will find yourself inspired, questioned, disturbed and transformed."
"[Arthur] Boers doesn't so much tell us about pilgrimage as invite us, in his lively and colorful prose, to join him. . . . This is a book to savor and read and then reread as we learn to live pilgrimage so that we will never again reduce walking to just getting across the street."
"Boer's account is a testimony to the importance of physicality to the spiritual life. The Way Is Made by Walking is an invitation to embody pilgrimage."
"This book is neither a travelogue nor a guide to walking the Camino, but rather a spiritual reflection, which may be enriching even for those who will never walk the Camino."
"After a lifetime of theology and lectures Boers applies his mind to going deeper and taking us along with him. He challenges us who are part of the Church to engage the spiritual longings in our culture by naming the shallowness of the life many of us live, and the need to model more grace-filled lives."
"On his 31-day trek along the 500-mile pilgrimage route of Camino de Santiago in Spain, Arthur Paul Boers became more aware of God at work in every detail, more sensitive to the spiritual needs of fellow pilgrims, and more convinced of the need to simplify his life."
"His faith comes through clearly, and I think that active Christians would particularly enjoy this search for spiritual renewal."
"The reader will find here a rich mix of hermeneutics, social commentary and practical advice. . . . Boers vindicates pilgrimage as spiritual exercise. . . . I am grateful for this . . . book that reaffirms my disposition to embark soon on the camino de Santiago."
"I highly recommend this book for those who have thought of doing a similar pilgrimage and those who have never thought of doing a pilgrimage. This is both a wonderful account of the physical hardships of a 500-mile journey and the even tougher, more life-changing aspects of the spiritual journey resulting from such a trip."
"It offers a new (old) way to explore and deepen faith."
Foreword by Eugene Peterson
Map of Camino
1. I want to Be in That Number: Drawn to Pilgrimage
2. Seeking God's Homeland: Christian Roots of Pilgrimage
3. Lord, Teach Us to Be Prayerful: Spirituality Lessons
4. Your Pack's Too Big: Simplify, Simplify, Simplify
5. The Road That Leads to Life: Challenges of Faithful Pilgrimage
6. The Journey Is Long: Camino Confessions
7. Well That's the Camino: Hospitality and Solidarity
8. No "Ustedes" Por Favor: The Rules Are Different Here
9. Secular Seekers: The Disconnect of Pilgrims and Church
10. Focal Ways of Life: Putting Pilgrimage into Practice
11. Walking in Faith: Walking as Spiritual Practice
12. Here I Walk, I Can Do No Other: Keeping Faith With Our Feet
Appendix 1. Recovering and Reclaiming Christian Pilgrimage
Appendix 2. Planning a Christian Pilgrimage
Appendix 3. Pilgrimage Destinations
Appendix 4. Camino Pilgrimage Resources