Deep, sturdy interior Connections

Isaiah 26:1-6
That day, this song will be sung in the land of Judah: We have a strong city; to guard us he has set wall and rampart about us. Open the gates! Let the upright nation come in, she, the faithful one whose mind is steadfast, who keeps the peace, because she trusts in you. Trust in the Lord for ever, for the Lord is the everlasting Rock; he has brought low those who lived high up in the steep citadel; he brings it down, brings it down to the ground, flings it down in the dust: the feet of the lowly, the footsteps of the poor trample on it.

Psalm 117       Blessed in the name of the Lord is he who comes.

Matthew 7:21,24-27

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘It is not those who say to me, “Lord, Lord,” who will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the person who does the will of my Father in heaven. Therefore, everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on rock. Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and hurled themselves against that house, and it did not fall: it was founded on rock. But everyone who listens to these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a stupid man who built his house on sand. Rain came down, floods rose, gales blew and struck that house, and it fell; and what a fall it had!’

When I built my first hermitage, I did so about 7 metres up on the banks of a river.  That river is usually the width of this chapel (6-8m) and at most 1-2 metres deep, but in flood it can rise up as high as that organ up there (7-8m).  Local people from the surrounding farms joked that with the first flood my hermitage would be washed away and seen floating through the nearest coastal city of Port Macquarie, New South wales, 60kms away, and out into the ocean.  I would laugh with them and tell them I built it strong, I built it where God wanted me to build it. 

When I lived there the highest flood came to within a few centimetres of covering the floor, but never did I imagine it would get higher than that.  However, in March of 2021, long after I left the place, the river peaked at 12.5 metres – a record flood. My hermitage was completely covered by the water.  Imagine the water reaching the roof of this Chapel!! 

Well, we all thought that we would see that hermitage in Port Macquarie, but no, it stood.  It did not move at all.  Yes, full of water, and after the water, stinking mud, but it did not move.  And several of the local people contacted me to laugh with me, genuflect, and concede that indeed I did build it strong.

I guess our relationship with God has to be built strong like that also.  Good foundations and solid connections between all the parts makes it sturdy and strong.  I guess our own structural integrity, our own solid connections, and the solid interior foundations we put in place and reinforce over the years help.  It helps to drop those foundations down into solid rock, and a deep interior experience of Jesus is the best rock for that. 

May our interior hermitage stand in the strong currents that life throws at us, as they did for St. Ambrose of Milan.