God, The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit
At Nazareth House Apostolate, we deal with such things through prayer and Pilgrimage. Pilgrimage is a journey dedicated to ongoing prayer. Walking the path we pray and praying the path we walk, experiencing source and destination that in coming home we can know it again for the first time.
See previous blog post on Pilgrimage: Click Here for Pilgrimage Blog
And so, we at NHA have been spending this time of uncertainty in pilgrimage. Our certainty is in the journey of our relationship in God.
St. Joseph was the protector and provider for the Holy Family as they lived their life in Nazareth.
Our Pilgrimage, naturally led us to the Shrine of St. Joseph, St. Meinrad, Indiana. As the world laments in much sorrow, it is there we prayed the first three Sorrowful Mysteries of the 7 Sorrows of Mary because St. Joseph was with Mary for these mysteries.
As we prayed these mysteries, I couldn't help but notice the faces of the 70 year old hand carved wood statue. Both St. Joseph and the young Christ Child are looking beyond - standing upright and firm, looking to the Beyond --not at the things of this world.
As we journeyed from one Sorrowful Mystery to the next, I discerned St Joseph's continual focus away from the world and towards The Beyond. I noticed the bird droppings running down his shoulder,
on his head, and the insects clinging to his forehead and likened them to the dregs of sorrows we have had pelted down on us in this world.
and yet, the statue of St. Joseph steadfastly looks out from the world to the Beyond, The Kingdom, our real home. And so should we.
The Christ Child also has bird droppings but an added sting of a hornet making a nest under his right arm.
If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. - James 1:26
More than ever, we must keep our focus on God and not allow the world to distract us. And it's not easy, because everything is increasingly designed to divert us. I wonder if the artist that carved this statue meant for it to be a symbol away from distraction, and a visual of how our focus should be - beyond this world and on the Next --especially when we've had so much to the contrary dumped on us.
...I think maybe he did.