Thursday, March 13, 2014

Lent: Do you wish to rise?

Do you wish to rise? Begin by descending. You plan a tower that will pierce the clouds? Lay first the foundation of humility.

-Saint Augustine

An answer to our prayers.
Someday very soon I do want to write the story of our new home. It really is a beautiful one that we have been blessed with. So many little things happened that just showed His Hands holding and guiding us. Our home has been prayed in for years. It has been taken care of and loved by the previous owners. And, even though it was built in 1967 it is in much much better shape than so many other homes that we saw while searching. 

Lay first the foundation...

For now, I'll just grab some tidbits from our journey and say that here in the Dallas area the dirt is known for causing foundation issues even in the most newly built homes. I think it has something to do with the dryness of the soil. That aside, the home we bought actually has a solid foundation and has never had any work done prior (Yay for us!). The large majority of houses we saw had issues to varying degrees. If they didn't it was because they were built within the last 7-10 years or so.

There cannot be any other virtue...

It's crazy to think of all the damage that can be linked to a non-solid foundation. So many things can easily go wrong while building a new foundation at the start and throughout the years! There are a number of things, like: what if it wasn't built in a timely manner, was it tended to after the house was built, was it built during a good or bad season, too humid, too dry, to thick, not thick enough. All things that can be carefully managed through, but also things that can so easily alter the future of the home - from the floors all the way up to the roof. The reality of poorly built foundations has never been so visible till we started looking for our home.

Humility is the foundation of all the other virtues hence, in the soul in which this virtue does not exist there cannot be any other virtue except in mere appearance.

-Saint Augustine

In hindsight, we are forever grateful that we did not pursue any house with major foundation issues to close, even though we know they can all easily be lived in because there are ways to mend all related issues. Honestly, we were so close to buying a home that ultimately was a structural mess because of the foundation, but with a lot of prayer and trusting, we moved on and found a home that exceeded our expectations. Prayers were answered beyond what we could have imagined!

Humility is the mother of many virtues because from it obedience, fear, reverence, patience, modesty, meekness and peace are born. He who is humble easily obeys everyone, fears to offend anyone, is at peace with everyone, is kind with all.

-St Thomas of Villanova

All this to say, it got me thinking a lot about foundations. Not only physcial, house-related ones, but also our spiritual ones.

St. Augustine and St. Thomas of Villanova share some beautiful words about humility (of course!). The foundation, our foundation needs to be firm. It needs to be tended to. It needs to be solid and withstanding so that it can remain firm in Him - no matter the weather, no matter the soil, no matter whatever conditions may come. Foundations are important and no easy task!

The more I seek to solidify my foundation in humility, I realize that humility can be grasped and grown in me little by little. Through stepping stones of service and love, my foundation can be tended to so that it may also withstand time. It's not an overnight thing. It's a work in progress. A work in progress that makes more sense in my sleepy-mama brain by keeping it simple, keeping it little, keeping it broken down by my daily tasks of love that my heart strives for.

When I see the saints sharing that humility is foundational to growing in all other virtues, it makes me look at my Lenten journey through a different lens. A lens that has helped me realize the weight this particular virtue has on all the hopes that I have for my Lenten season. The wisdom of the saints makes me realize that just like our new home was built strong and well enough to withstand time, we also have our spiritual foundation of humility that is wildly important to the structure of our wholeness in Him. If I want to rise with Him, I need to start at the bottom. Something my heart knows but doesn't remember on the day-to-day.

Little by little. Humility. Service. Love. Obedience. Fear. Reverence. Joy. Patience. Modesty. Meekness. Peace. Jesus.

St. Augustine & St. Thomas of Villanova, pray for us.

Linking up with Cari for Theme Thursday! And, thank you Abbey for the meditation prompts! I'm really enjoying your Lent-stagram project!

2 comments:

  1. Oh! I can't tell you how much this just touched my heart. There was a lot of spirit-filled truth and wisdom here that I needed to be reminded of. Thank you :)

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    1. Gosh, this one is so tough. Humility in all its depths is just so tough! I meet men and women who exhibit such amazing humility and all I can do is pray for it. God knows me in these crazy days I'm in and all I keep doing is praying, thanking Him for His amazing mercy, and praying. ;)

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