Have you ever had a conversion experience, or an encounter with the Lord where you recommitted to growth in your spiritual life, but then your prayer life fell by the wayside? Have you laid a strong foundation to build your spiritual home on? Or has your spiritual house become run down due to neglect?
Recently on St. Joseph’s Workshop, Fr. Matthew Spencer, OSJ told a story of how he watched a run-down local landmark be demolished. Something that struck him about the experience was when a fellow Oblate of St. Joseph said to him, “It’s amazing how long it took to put this this up, and how long it’s been here. And yet, how quickly it comes down. How quickly that structure can fall apart.”
Fr. Matthew reflected on how we can apply this to our own spiritual lives, saying:
“The spiritual lesson for me is so clear. It’s taken you many years to build your spiritual life. It’s taken you decades, even, to build a foundation, to erect beautiful walls, to put a solid leak-free roof on your spiritual home, and then decorate it.
It takes a lot of work, and a lot of time. And then it takes upkeep along the way, to keep that structure in good condition, to keep thieves from stealing away all of the stuff you have invested in that spiritual building.
But if you notice, when the right destructive tools enter into our lives, how quickly those structures can topple. How quickly our spiritual lives can be razed to the ground. When the evil one comes into our life, if we do not have the appropriate protections in our spiritual life, it is so easily destroyed. It’s so easily toppled.
I wonder if you’ve been thinking about what protections you have in place for your spiritual life. I wonder if you reflect on how you’re strengthening the house that you have been building for many years.
I’m acutely aware of it because I see it so often, as a priest, in people’s lives. How evil can enter, and especially when we have drifted away from the Church, when we have drifted away from good, disciplined spiritual practices. All it takes is certain destructive equipment, designed for that purpose, and our house will be destroyed.
But, when we are living on a solid foundation, when we have Jesus present, He can keep those evils away. And when we’re caring for the structure of the spiritual life, then we’re aware of how essential it is to preserve that – and how it can be preserved with God’s grace.”
Listen to the full reflection below: