The Great Craftsman

The Great Craftsman

Over the past few days I’ve watched the evolution of a massive scaffolding being built in the sanctuary of our local Cathedral. Each day that I attend Mass a new layer has been added. My understanding is that they will be doing plaster work; I’m starting to look forward to each day – not necessarily for the right reason but to see just how high they’ll be taking this contraption.

Today’s little surprise was a staircase built into the scaffolding. I had never seen this before. 6 sets of stairs so far; I wonder if it’s even possible to add more (check out the photo below).

As often happens in the 30 minutes before Mass, I reflected on those things around me and settled on the scaffolding and how it represented my internal brokenness.

I can hide really well.

Spackle on the makeup, put on my favorite outfit, slap on a smile, and you wouldn’t know that I’m hurting inside, that I couldn’t care less about the world around me, or that it was exhausting just to leave the house.

It’s kind of like the Cathedral. From the naked eye, it’s a thing of beauty. Clean cream-colored walls are beautifully accented with gold trim, rich wood is polished and stately, stained glass windows shine as brightly colored light pours through.

What could it possibly need?

Only the rafters and birds that flutter in know… along with the maintenance workers who are well aware of the structural upkeep that is obviously necessary.

From what I hear, the framework of the scaffolding has been built for the craftsmen to work on the plaster. It’s quite an impressive sight and appears hearty and strong; it would have to be in order to keep the workers safe at the heights they will reach. Without the sturdy framework, the plasterers would be putting their own lives at risk trying to save the beautiful building. (For without people to worship, the Cathedral is truly just a building, no matter how beautiful.)

How strong is my own internal foundation? When I’m broken, when I’m feeling lonely and depressed, tired and run down, hurt and rejected, have I a strong spiritual framework in order for the Lord to work on me? And, what would that be, what would that look like?

Instead of a gridding of metal pipes and planks of wood, I believe the framing would be prayer and sacrament, scripture and silence, the Eucharist – God Himself. Without these, the great Craftsman would have a difficult time making any real repairs.

Until we reach the end of our time here on earth, we will be in a constant state of maintenance and in need of repair. This also means we need to be vigilant like the Cathedral maintenance workers and seek preventative maintenance. Frequent Confession, a strong prayer life, daily Mass if possible, and spiritual direction will keep our inner scaffolding strong for when our brokenness calls for the Craftsman to work within us.

As Advent approaches and we enter the period of waiting, I encourage you and I to start our preparations. As the scaffolding is removed from the Cathedral Christmas, let our own souls be made strong in order to receive the Craftsman Incarnate.

Pray for me as I pray for you.

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