Like the Magi, the Church has been traveling resolutely West, and it has nearly come full-circle; it is bringing new treasure from the East and up from Africa. There is almost a sense of completion to this.
That may be unsettling to some; it may hold promise to others. Completion -- or wholeness -- is what we have been taught is the objective to this long journey of mission and masses and mistakes. We anticipate that moment when all things are restored in Christ.
Faith and experience tell us that all things work for the glory of God. The ebb and flow of vocations, the dominance and diminishment of churches, are His to control. What we need will be provided, even if we cannot at first recognize the provision. We know that beyond all else, the Church is a great mystery, and its future is known to God alone.
Elizabeth Scalia is the Catholic Portal Manager for Patheos.com. She is a Contributing Writer to First Things, where she also blogs as The Anchoress, and is a regular panelist on the Brooklyn Diocese-produced current events program, "In the Arena," seen at NETNY.net. Elizabeth is a former contributor to Inside Catholic, and has been published in a wide variety of Catholic print publications and online political venues. She can be contacted at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.