February 16, 2004

The Meseta of Hontanas

The stage from Hornillos to Castrojeriz is one of silence. Exterior silence that allows for interior silence. There are those that say that in this area the pilgrim will be presented with the same struggle as the one between Jacob and the angel (who represented God Himself) that the Book of Genesis tells us about. Jacob was traveling,

“and having stayed behind, alone, wrestled with him until daybreak. But seeing that he was not winning, he hit Jacob on the hip and it was thrown out of joint as he struggled with him. The man said, ‘Let me go; daylight is coming.’ Jacob answered, ‘I won’t, unless you bless me.’ The man asked, ‘What is your name?’ He answered, ‘Jacob.’ The man said, ‘You will no longer be Jacob, rather Israel because you have struggled with God and you will be able to handle men. Jacob asked him, ‘Please, tell me your name.’ But he answered, ‘Why do you want to know my name?’ And he blessed Jacob right there. Jacob named the place Peniel. He said, ‘I have seen God face to face, and I am still alive.’ Jacob continued on his way, but he was limping because of his hip.” (Genesis 32, 23-32)

The scene from the first commentators of the Holy Scriptures represents the image of the spiritual battle: God only reveals Himself to those who dare to struggle with him. The Lord Yahweh gives him a name, that is to say, a new being and destiny. With his faith and prayer, with his struggle to know God, the patriarch has overcome his dark night; reconciled with God, he begins the last act of his life as a pilgrim.

Go prepared because it is possible that on one of the rugged paths of the meseta of Hontanas, near Sambol, or the ruins of San Anton, the angel you must struggle with may appear. Only he can give you the new name to begin the new life.

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