On Friday, as workmen stretched orange fencing around Ottilia Hall, it appeared as if they were applying a giant bandage to a red brick heart. And while the building isn’t actually ‘injured,’ it is in need of interior restoration – ‘healing,’ if you will – from the fatigue of over 100 years of continuous support of the life of our monastic community.
And now, Ottilia is finally closed to us, and its long-planned-for renovation will take place beyond our sight. Access is limited to those who are skilled in the crafts of restoring, renewing, and healing. Although the work itself will be marked by the noise of hammer and drill, there is a sense in which the building seems wrapped in silence, in the interior hush of growth and transformation. It is the silence of reverence for the healing work taking place within the heart of the structure.
As I watched the workmen unfurl the fencing and close off our familiar Ottilia Hall, it reminded me of how much of our internal growth and renewal takes place out of sight, and how each of us has (or needs) an invisible fence wrapped around the renovation zone of our heart. Externally, we may fine. But internally, all of us are in need of the transforming work of love. All of us need the shelter of a protecting but pliable veil that allows free rein (reign) to the One who knows how to restore, renew and heal.
Perhaps it is good for us to remember that each of us is a “construction zone” in need of the renewing love of Christ. May He hold us in his Sacred Heart, and may we regard one another with reverence for the work that is taking place within each of us, out of sight, wrapped in silence, enveloped in the interior hush of growth and transformation.
You who dwell in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty, say to the Lord, “My refuge and fortress, my God in who I trust.” Ps. 90:1-2
Postscript: Please keep us in your prayers as our renovation begins. And please pray for the success of our capital campaign!