When I read Paul, I have a hard time deciding if his writing is that far above me, or if he just doesn’t make sense. Given all of the scholarship generated in the past 2000 years, it’s most likely that he’s good writer. So this weekend, I was excited to get an insight on one of Paul’s discussions of law and grace. He goes round and round about law, sin, and grace, and it’s pretty hard to follow. In his homily, our priest compared it to the work of a blacksmith. In order for the iron to be formed, it must be heated to an incredible temperature. We are the iron, the hammer is the law, and the heat is grace. Without the grace, the hammer of law can hit us over and over again, and all we see is our lack of ability to be formed, our brokenness, and our failure. Add grace, that incredible fire, and the hammer of law is a tool that forms us into what we were meant to be. The law is not something that confines and dominates us, but something that guides and directs us into fulfillment. It is a tool, not an end. I hope that helps.