Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12

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Solid Foundations

Several times over the past few weeks I’ve been reminded of the necessity for solid foundations.  During my holiday I spent many hours slaving over a patch of dirt that would eventually be my “new” patio.  I can’t begin to tell you how many buckets of sweat I poured out trying to make that space level and workable.  And even now you wouldn’t know it to see it.  Once I got through with all that work you will never see the rest of the project practically finished itself.  But that’s what good foundations are all about.

Think about how much time and care it takes to pour a basement foundation and how quickly the rest of the house can be framed in once that’s all set. Think of how much time goes into preparing a canvas or researching a paper compared to the time spent painting or writing.  If you don’t do it right, if you don’t take the time, if you aren’t exacting in your work of laying a solid foundation then everything that gets put on top of it is weakened and in danger of crashing down. The patio stones will trip you up, or the walls will sag and crack. Your finished project will be short-lived, lopsided and unsightly.

And the same holds true for our own personal lives and our family life even more so than for our houses and patios.  Solid foundations are important. I was reminded of that only a few days ago when talking to the family of a beloved saint who was called to her heavenly glory. She was (still is) a woman who knew the importance of laying a solid foundation for herself and her family.  A foundation that rested on the rock solid Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Going to church, hearing the word, praying for and with her children and grandchildren were the bedrock of her quiet life.  Most of what she did to lay that foundation no one outside of her family would likely ever have noticed or appreciated.  But her family did … and still does.  And it shows in the faith they have, and the love they share especially in their time of grief.

Faith is that foundation. Faith is what we build all the works of our lives upon. Do not short-change the work you put into making it solid. Doing it right should make you sweat more than a little.  Read the scriptures, pray, study your catechism, sing the hymns of the faith. Do it every day. Do it with those you love. Do it until you can recite it by heart and then do it again.  You must never underestimate the importance – not just to you but all whose lives interact with your own.

The time and effort you put into laying a good foundation will never impress anyone, but it is absolutely vital … both to you and those you love. Faith is not fancy or showy – it never says look at me.  It is content to go unnoticed, and sometimes even unappreciated. If you do it right no one will ever see all the work you put into it.  But one day they will see all that is built upon its rock solid foundations and they will thank you for it!