God, The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit
If ye were of the world, the world would love his own:
but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
These are troublesome times, to say the very least. People are confused, anxious, scared and angry. It is harder and harder to find the much needed middle way, the via media. Much is being thrown at society to distract our focus.
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.
Set your affection on things above,
not on things on the earth.
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.
For our conversation is in heaven;
from whence also we look for the Saviour,
the Lord Jesus Christ
The Christ Child also has bird droppings but an added sting of a hornet making a nest under his right arm.
And yet the Christ Child looks on, forward, out from the world, to The Father.
They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
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.
And be not conformed to this world:
but be ye transformed by the renewing
of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good,
and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.- John 16:32