Tuesday, December 8, 2009

"The Pillars of the Earth"

I just finished reading The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. It's a sprawling novel about building a cathedral in the 12th century. While it's not in the category of my all-time favorite, The Lord of the Rings, it is a very good read.

Even though building the cathedral is the theme that runs through the story, it is really about human relationships. Like any good novel, the well-drawn characters give the story its drama and suspense. There are kings, earls, peasants, builders, monks, bishops and knights who clash in both violent and peaceful ways. Follett is an excellent storyteller.

While I learned more about cathedral building than I ever knew existed, my imagination was engaged in the unfolding drama of how the various characters either aided or were obstacles to the building.

I saw the building of the cathedral as a metaphor for pursuing any long-term goal. To be successful, we need to have persistence, resilience and determination. This is also true of the spiritual life. A healthy spiritual life isn't built in a day or even a year. It takes time-- even a life time.

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