Saturday, June 11, 2011

Cathedral Building

I'm still slowly working my way through a re-read of one of my all time favorite books "Between the Dreaming and the Coming True" by Robert Benson.  This is perhaps one of the most marked-up books in my collection, simply because so much of what Benson has to say spoke to me deeply the first time I read the book, and continues to speak to the deep places of my heart.  The other night I re-read a passage about cathedral building and knew I had to share it here.

He writes:

We do not talk much about building cathedrals these days.  But we should, I think.

Saint Paul once wrote to his friends in Ephesus that there is "a spiritual dwelling for God" being built among us and that we are all a part of it.  A great temple, Saint Paul called it - a cathedral, I call it - that was dreamed by the Dreamer and is meant for us to build.

Its foundation was laid by the prophets and the apostles, by the early church and the desert fathers and mothers, by the saints who are revered and the saints whose names are unknown to us.  The cathedral that is being built here includes all of them and all of us, all who have gone before and all who will come after.  We, and all that we are - dreams, hopes, gifts, hours, days, work, sweat - are meant to be stones in the cathedral of the Dreamer.

In many ways it does not matter whether we are preachers or poets, stonecutters or schoolteachers, accountants or architects.  Nor does it particularly matter if we are woodworkers or water carriers, missionaries or metalworkers.  What matters is that we dream our dreams and hope our hopes and do our work as though we believe in the Dreamer and the dream for the cathedral that is being built here.  For without us, it will not be built.  (pg. 91-92)