Monday, May 29, 2006
Longing for a House  

During his visit to Poland, Benedict XVI met with many Polish young people at Blonie Park in Krakow. His address to the young people was based on Matthew 7:24-27 where Jesus gives the parable of the wise man and the foolish man who are building houses. The foolish man builds his house on sand, but the wise man builds his house on the rock. When the rains and the storms come, the foolish man's house is swept away, but the wise man's house stands. The Holy Father captured the essence of how this parable touches each of us in the beautiful and profound description of our hearts' yearnings for a secure home:
My friends, in the heart of every man there is the desire for a house. Even more so in the young person’s heart there is a great longing for a proper house, a stable house, one to which he can not only return with joy, but where every guest who arrives can be joyfully welcomed. There is a yearning for a house where the daily bread is love, pardon and understanding. It is a place where the truth is the source out of which flows peace of heart. There is a longing for a house you can be proud of, where you need not be ashamed and where you never fear its loss. These longings are simply the desire for a full, happy and successful life. Do not be afraid of this desire! Do not run away from this desire! Do not be discouraged at the sight of crumbling houses, frustrated desires and faded longings. God the Creator, who inspires in young hearts an immense yearning for happiness, will not abandon you in the difficult construction of the house called life. (Source)
He continues the rest of his message to describe how when can build that house by constructing it on Christ who is the rock and the Church which our Lord founded.

I found this passage especially moving because it put into words a deep longing in my own heart that I have known for some time. Many years ago, I was moved to tears as I realized how much that I wanted a home, a place to truly belong. My own family had rejected me, and it was not certain where I would be able to call home. Thanks be to God He has given me a new home through my marriage to my wonderful wife. And in addition, He has added to that home by blessing us with a beautiful daughter. Finally, He has given us a new home in the Catholic Church. These were all unexpected gifts from God, and I am foolish to not be certain to give Him thanks every day for these gifts.

However, lest this seem like a fairy tale ending, let me assure you that it has been anything but happily ever after. Instead, it has been more like the storms that Jesus notes will come and test the foundation of the house. There have been plenty of gales over the past years. And there continue to be many storms that constantly prove whether we are continuing to build on Christ or whether we have tried to build on something or someone else. In the midst of this, I still have that deep longing for a home. It would, perhaps, of all motivations, be the one that drives me the most although it seems to move beneath the surface in ways that are difficult to detect. And there are many times I have squelched that desire in order to make room for a more ignoble purpose.

Now, through the Pope's words, I am reminded again of this desire that God has planted within my soul. And I hope that once again I allow that motivation to move me forward. The end of a stable, secure house is Heaven, and I must always keep that goal in mind. In the present, I can look toward that house in order to help me make prudent decisions that either help me build toward that house or waste my time building a house that will crumble with the next storm that comes up the coast.

Posted by David at 11:59 PM  |  Comments (2)  | Link

2 Comments:

A w e s o m e !

Thank you for posting that quote and reflection. This "desire for a house" speaks to my heart as well.

"Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at thy altars, O LORD of hosts, my King and my God." Psalm 84:3

By Anonymous TheresaMF, at June 18, 2006 4:30 PM  

Thanks for your comment and the verse you included. The verse makes me think of how I should "fly" to His altar in order to remain close to Him.

I also needed a reminder about what I should be about as I have recently spent quite some time building my house on sand. Certain enough, it got washed away in the storm that came, and the fall of the house was great.

By Anonymous David, at June 18, 2006 11:58 PM  

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