Friday, March 17, 2006

When progress feels like regress

We closed our Bed and Breakfast this week to do repairs. Brothers took turns moving furniture, throwing down drop cloths, pulling out some water-damaged dry wall, patching it, sanding the dried compound and painting. At any stage of the work, the loft looked like absolute chaos. However, the truth of the matter was what might appear to be destruction and disorder was a necessary stage in the beautifying of the space. Today, with everything back in place, with the new paint job and restored ceilings, it looks better than ever.

I don't think that it's a stretch to say that our spiritual lives often have a similar dynamic. We fall into routines in prayer, we go on auto-pilot in our lectio divina, and without our being aware of it, a dangerous rot can set in. God can see what we can't, and when He sets out to repair our souls, sometimes this means some dismantling first must take place. We experience dryness in prayer, or we find ourselves in some kind of uncomfortable life situation. What we can't see is that God is patching (recreating is a more accurate way to put it) our spiritual lives so that when He puts everything back together, we are holier, more virtuous, more faithful Christians.

The site was down a bit this morning--I hope everyone manages to find their way back.
Peace to you in Jesus Christ!

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If I, who seem to be your right hand and am called Presbyter and seem to
preach the Word of God, If I do something against the discipline of the Church
and the Rule of the Gospel so that I become a scandal to you, The Church, then
may the whole Church, in unanimous resolve, cut me, its right hand, off, and
throw me away.

Origen of Alexandria
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