Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The pillars of the earth...

As the skilled workmen placed the several thousand pounds of marble which make up the base of the tabernacle today, all I could think of was Psalm 75:3: "Though the earth and all its inhabitants quake, I make steady its pillars."

It is exciting to prepare for the completion of this long-awaited temple of the presence of the Lord in this holy house of discernment and formation. At the same time, as the workmen carefully put all the beautifully crafted pieces together, we are reminded of how the construction of a tabernacle is a lot like the discernment and formation what take place in a seminary.

We seek here to craft men into vessels of God's grace, a grace he dispenses in his own time and his own manner. 

Yesterday two men left Seminary formation and there is a real sadness in the house. We are reminded at such times that the making of a Priest, like the making of a tabernacle, is a slow and laborious process.

It is a work which sometimes takes place in a Seminary and sometimes in a family, sometimes in school, sometimes at work, sometimes in a parish, sometimes among friends, and often in the quiet prayer of an obedient heart.  But always the work is upheld by him who makes steady the pillars of the earth, for he made them and us and forms us slowly into his own image and likeness.

The Tabernacle is still an unfinished work, and so are each one of us. Pray for all who aspire to discern God's will, in Seminary and outside of Seminary, that God may bring to completion what he has so well begun.