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July 4, 2020
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July 18, 2020
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Camino online VII



We are one of the monastic communities belonging to the Benedictine Congregation of Sankt Ottilien, founded in Caracas, Venezuela, in 1929. As the years went by, the capital city grew until it surrounded the Abbey and, as the noise (typical of the cities) did not favor the monks’ lifestyle, the community was forced to look for a more suitable place for their work and needs. At the beginning of the 1990s, in a rural place in tune with an almost virgin nature, the community established itself in Güigüe, a small town located 150 km from Caracas.

Our community has about ten members, four of whom are on formation.

The crisis that has been shaking the country for years is affecting the daily life of our community very badly; and this on many levels. The economic situation, the social problems, the continuous political crisis, the insecurity, have had devastating consequences for the people of this country; also, of course, for our monastery.

From this corner of the earth, in the midst of this pandemic and drowned by an endless crisis that does not touch the bottom, the community of monks tries to continue with its life in the permanent search for God.

From this corner of the earth, in the midst of this pandemic and drowned by an endless crisis that does not touch the bottom, the community of monks tries to continue with its life in the permanent search for God.

In the meantime, in the midst of our daily tasks, we will continue to stop and raise our prayers to the heaven for this suffering, but also full of hope.



To stop

P. Clemente In,

Monasterio Monte Irago


Everyone has stopped. The Camino de Santiago is stopped along its own path and there it awaits. It is still completely stopped. Because of the coronavirus, everyone is holding their breath. Only silence flows in a profound silence. It is the first time this has happened. It is really unusual. On March 15, the Camino “ended.” After a long winter, spring—a dynamic season in which all things come alive—arrived and now summer has arrived; however, the silence of this year’s pause continues to flow along the Camino.

A confrere from the monastery told me: “In a way, this is a sabbatical that the Lord has given us.” It is a moment for a change in perspective to view the same reality.

Stopping oneself is similar to silence. Not moving is not an empty silence; rather, it can be a silence full of meaning. It is an opportunity to reflect upon our origins, returning and delving internally into the silence that arises from a deep stop, when life becomes soft and humble. To be stopped is not to be inactive. In the silence of an active stop, all things, including oneself, returns to its source, to the root of all things.

Only when we stop can we look back upon our path. We can’t see behind us when we move forward. No, we have no time to look back, no intention of looking back. Because the mind is concentrated only on going forward. A pilgrim told me: “When I stopped and looked back on the road I had completed, there were puddles of water. Those puddles were the cathartic tears that I had shed over numerous days! Not just one puddle but many puddles of tears!” With the period of failure and suffering is over, I feel that my heart is tired, which I had forgotten. I have walked a lot. I am also very proud of myself; I console myself.

Stopping allows us to see our society and the world beyond the limits of oneself. At present, a very important topic called “human security” is beginning to be discussed. Until now, the term “security” only seemed to refer to “military security.” But now the concept of “security” also refers to the protection of humanity and of human life. To achieve human security, a society needs to activate a robust public system that can achieve and protect it. For this, we desperately need the stated willingness and dedication of political leaders and governments to be more than just words.

When we stop, we can put our hands together in prayer. Firstly, I can console myself in prayer. But it is not me who consoles me. The One who made me is the One who consoles me through prayer. Secondly, we can pray for others beyond ourselves. Only in solitary prayer can we be one. We hear about death every day from the coronavirus. Because of that, I can also experience my own death in advance. With my hands empty, I have no other option but to pray. I realize once again that I am weak. The “me” comes into this world empty-handed and eventually leaves the world empty-handed again. We pray that the soul returns to its source. We share the soul’s pain in our humble prayer. In prayer, we also share the pain of families who have lost loved ones. I have the Rosary in my hands and today I pray for all the sick and for all those who care for them.

The truth that we are all pilgrims is made clear in the silence of our stopping. We are going to meet Someone who is always waiting for us. We know Who the path is and where the destination is. The Way is Jesus Christ. He is the Camino through which we journey and which leads us to our destiny, God the Heavenly Father. On the road to Emmaus, two disciples made a request to the Lord: “Stay with us, because the sun is setting and the day has already ended” (Lk 24,29). After recognizing Jesus, the two disciples commented: “Was our heart not burning within us when He spoke to us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?” (Lk 24,32). They had realized that Christ had walked beside them in the midst of their darkness, pain and difficulties. They had met Christ, the Pilgrim, along their way. Christ came from God as a pilgrim, walked in the world and returned to the Father (Jn 16:28). We are also pilgrims who come from God and return to God.

A spiritual stop allows us to know what is most important in our lives. Only when we are firmly situated in God, we have everything. Let us be humble before God.

God is separating us from the values of this world. In the silence of a church or in our home, we can do an examination of conscience so that we can cleanse what prevents us from hearing the Voice of God clearly. We sincerely ask God to tell us what he wants and expects of us today. He and He alone is all we need.

With St. Teresa of Avila, let’s pray:

Let nothing disturb you,

Let nothing frighten you,

All things are passing away:

God never changes.

Patience obtains all things

Whoever has God 

lacks nothing;

God alone suffices.


Holy Father, source of goodness and Wisdom, enlighten our minds and hearts, so that we may see the light that accompanies our journey; that in moments of darkness our falls may not become disillusionment but new impulses to rise and begin again. Through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen

Thank you for joining us “in Camino,” for being a part of our humble project, for your prayers, for your assistance and for your company.  


With your support you will contribute with food bags, sanitary material, water supply, cleaning kits…

See you next week!