Focus on what you are becoming

In 1964 at the NY Worlds Fair I was deeply impressed by many, many beautiful sights but the one that will always be with me was the Pieta at the Vatican pavilion. The Pieta is an incredibly beautiful sculpture created by Michelangelo in 1499. It is a sculpture of the Blessed Virgin and her dead son, Jesus.
If we could travel back to 1497 in his studio we would see the Pieta taking shape from a solid block of marble and all around the sculpture we would see a pile of rubble where the pieces that had been deftly chipped off now resided. This is exactly what is going on in our life. We are born like that great block of marble and God slowly and perfectly takes off what we don’t need in order to uncover the masterpiece that we really are. Instead of exalting at the masterpiece that is being uncovered, we spend our time wailing at the rubble. “How could God have taken that away from me?” we cry. “How could that relationship no longer be a part of me?” “I needed that house, that job, those dollars, my youth!” “There’s my regrets laying all over the place. They were such a part of me!” “There’s my fears. They kept me on alert!” “There’s my mistakes!” “There’s my difficult times!” Our tears spill over the pieces that once were a part of us but rarely do we look at what we have become without them. We focus on the loss unaware that a masterpiece is being created. All that is on the ground is of no use to us now and yet that is where we spend our time and thoughts. Everything that God takes away from us is because it is time for it to leave so that another part of our strength and beauty can be revealed. Put your focus on what you are becoming. Take your focus off what you no longer are.
In 1972 a crazed man took a hammer to the Pieta. He chipped off many pieces including Mary’s nose before he was restrained. In order to repair the Pieta there was no way that the marble could be matched perfectly so they had to take some marble from inside of the statue. In our lives there are many ways that we can be hurt and there is nothing outside of ourselves that will ever fix it. We too will have to go inside to find what truly repairs our hurt.
We are all works in progress and it is unfair to criticize any piece before the Master is finished with it. Have patience with others and keep your focus on what you are becoming and off the rubble that is no longer a part of you. Love and Blessings, Patrick


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