Extreme stress and alienation too often go hand in hand. Contemplate one of the helpful messages of this medieval image of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus’s flight to Egypt. We find a family fleeing the murderous desire of those with power; they are looking into each other’s eyes and finding the courage to keep going. May we never lose the ability to use our embodied presence in ways that bring courage, safety to the vulnerable, and justice for all. We need to work towards finding complex solutions to society’s problems and while we do that we need to embody acts of straightforward humanity.
God, use my eyes, and all of who I am, I pray.
…an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” Matthew 2:13 NRSV
Invitation to Pray:
Imitate one or more of the sets of eyes in the image below. Connect the position of your eyes to what your heart is feeling. Connect the position of your eyes to the thoughts you are thinking. Now, close your eyes, and connect with your inner vision, asking God to show you what you need to see and do.
These images are from the Life of Mary window (1217-1220) in the Chartres Cathedral. This pane depicts the flight to Egypt. The photo at the top of this page can be found on page 8 in Chapter One of Visions of Mary: Art, Devotion, and Beauty at Chartres Cathedral.
To Explore Further:
Look inside Visions of Mary (Introduction and Chapter One). Available at Amazon, Paraclete Press, and Barnes and Noble
Interested in buying the book in volume? Contact Sister Estelle at Paraclete Press for pricing options.
Visit Jill’s website on the Chartres Cathedral.
Posts with images shown in Visions of Mary: Art, Devotion, and Beauty at Chartres Cathedral (1) The Blue Virgin Window at Chartres; (2) Looking Towards God; (3) Notre Dame de Chartres; (4) An Angel’s Perspective; (5) Mary’s Example; (6) Questioning; (7) Really?; (8) Wrapped in Love; (9) Devotion; (10) Lifted; (11) There’s More…; (12) Celebrating Life; (13) Blessing; (14) Silent Grief