A Catholic perspective on the world and all the good things therein, especially books and food. Literature cum chocolate is the order of the day at The Crockery.

Location: A Collegetown, Undisclosed Location, United States

No longer a graduate student, Teresa is now a professional know-it-all.

Monday, May 29, 2006

The House on the Rock

Some years ago, I stumbled across this quote from the St. John Vianney, better known as the Cure d'Ars: "A house founded on the Cross will fear neither wind, nor rain, nor storm." It was so striking to me that I made it the motto on a personal webpage.

The house on the cross is, of course, a reference to Matthew 7:24-25: "Every one then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock" (RSV). Vianney, in adapting this Scripture passage, made it clear what the rock was: the cross, the death of Christ. In focusing on the cross as the foundation for life, he established sacrificial love as central to Christian life.

Recently, Pope Benedict XVI gave a "Greeting to Young People" based on that same Scripture passage. Amy Welborn has quoted part of this address at her blog. She focused specifically on the introduction, which spoke of the universal desire for a stable foundation in life. I want to call to my readers' attention a different part of the message: one focusing on what it means to build on the rock of Christ. I liked this paragraph so much that I wanted to adopt part of it as a signature line for message boards. The problem was that I couldn't decide which part could stand alone: I liked the whole thing too much. So I'm sharing it here, instead.

To build on Christ and with Christ means to build on a foundation that is called “crucified love”. It means to build with Someone who, knowing us better than we know ourselves, says to us: “You are precious in my eyes and honoured, and I love you” (Is 43:4). It means to build with Someone, who is always faithful, even when we are lacking in faith, because he cannot deny himself (cf. 2 Tim 2:13). It means to build with Someone who constantly looks down on the wounded heart of man and says: “ I do not condemn you, go and do not sin again” (cf. Jn 8:11). It means to build with Someone who, from the Cross, extends his arms and repeats for all eternity: “O man, I give my life for you because I love you.” In short, building on Christ means basing all your desires, aspirations, dreams, ambitions and plans on his will. It means saying to yourself, to your family, to your friends, to the whole world and, above all to Christ: “Lord, in life I wish to do nothing against you, because you know what is best for me. Only you have the words of eternal life” (cf. Jn 6:68). My friends, do not be afraid to lean on Christ! Long for Christ, as the foundation of your life! Enkindle within you the desire to build your life on him and for him! Because no one who depends on the crucified love of the Incarnate Word can ever lose.

I haven't updated my old webpages in years, and I occasionally think about taking them down permanently. I was a different person then, and I don't know that I have the time or desire to update those pages to show how I've changed. But I still like that quote from the Cure D'Ars. I like to think that this paragraph from Benedict XVI is a connecting link both to who I was seven or eight years ago, and to who I'll be a decade from now. A house founded on the cross need not fear time.


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