These Shoes Were Made for Walking!
These shoes were made for walking!
Certainly, Mary Ward’s shoes were, as we were reminded by Cardinal Vincent Nicholls at the Loreto Centenary Mass in Westminster Cathedral. Mary walked to Rome three times in an effort to persuade the Pope and the Church hierarchy to accept her new order. Sad to say, in spite of all that walking, the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary was not recognised until after her death.
That homily made us think about shoes – and feet. Shoes – or sandals, as more fitting for conditions in the Holy Land - are mentioned in the Bible, such as John the Baptist’s image to compare himself to Jesus:
….the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal.
When the Prodigal Son returned home, his father was quick to give the command:
Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.
Shoes, feet, walking….all part of our Christian heritage, from walking from one Good Friday station to another, to pilgrimage, often in a foreign land.
So, inspired by those who have walked before us, let us walk the Christian path, encouraged by this Jewish prayer:
O Lord our God and God of our fathers!
Mercifully direct and guide our steps to our destination
And let us arrive there in health, joy and peace!
Keep us from snares and dangers,
And protect us from any enemies that we might meet along the way.
Bless and protect our journey!
Blessed are you, O Lord,
Who hears and grants our prayers.