N.B. I wanted to post something different this year from Eliot's Ash Wednesday. Few things prepare my heart for lent better than that hard, familiar poem. But today, I am looking to St. Augustine. The photo, above, is of St. Joseph, exhausted and asleep at the foot of Mary in the statue of The Holy Family Resting: the Flight into Egypt in the basement of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. It was sculpted by Anna Hyatt Huntington.
What goal are you making for, wandering around and about by ways so hard and laborious? Rest is not where you seek it. Seek what you seek, but it is not where you seek it. You seek happiness of life in the land of death, and it is not there. For how shall there be happiness of life where there is no life? But our Life came down to this our earth and took away our death, slew death with the abundance of His own life: and He thundered, calling us to return to him ... calling to us by what He said and what He did, calling to us by His death, life, descent, and ascension to return to Him. And He withdrew from our eyes, that we might return to our own heart and find Him. For He went away and behold He is still here. He would not be with us long, yet He did not leave us. He went back to that place which He had never left, for the world was made by Him. And He was in this world, and He came into this world to save sinners.
Augustine, Confessions, IV.19