" I found many pilgrims to be people of reflection in virtue....
People I meant wanted to live in ways that contributed to the well-being of others. They were all willing to settle for selfish materialism or consumerism. They were convinced that there is "something more," that matters of the spirit are vital. I often experienced compassion and care: in hospitality, shared meals, companionship and concern for my well-being. Folks freely shared counsel and food, water and support.
Folks felt strongly about considering themselves pilgrims, authentic ones at that. They were comfortable on this route of Christian significance. They reveled in church art, architecture, history, rituals and symbols. Many visited each church building that was open, attendant Mass whenever it was available and appreciate it the pilgrims blessings that were occasionally offered by local priests as we passed through their towns. Yet they also complained of the institutional Church: its wealth and power, dogma and hypocrisy. Sadly, almost to a person, they were disbelieving when I talked about Christian nonviolence, a central idea for Mennonites, for people I met, the militarism of George W. Bush is now the face of Christianity. Some without professing Christian faith carried Bibles. And most seem passionate about admiring Jesus. I came to understand that the best way to talk about my faith was to speak of following Jesus, certainly a good metaphor for any pilgrimage."
(Arthur Paul Boers. The Way is Made by Walking: A Pilgrimage Along The Camino de Santiago)