Rebuild My House


“Saint Francis Praying before the Crucifix at San Damiano,” Giotto, c. 1295, fresco

 
Francis was asked by Jesus to rebuild His house. Francis thought it referred to the chapel of San Damiano.
 
As time passed, after Francis had rebuilt San Damiano, his emptiness and his desire for truth continued to burn in his heart. It was only when his father dragged him to be judged by the Bishop that Francis realized that the house he was meant to renew was within him.
 
Francis stripped himself of his past when he returned to his father his money and everything he was wearing. Only when we strip ourselves of the past and the present do we realize how small and insignificant we are. When we strip ourselves of attachments, prejudices, opinions, material possessions, and past dreams and desires, we become like a vacant lot of land ready for a new building, a new house, a house where God is the master.
 
To realize that God is the master, we must realize our sinfulness. Sins that only God can blot away. No matter if we have been absolved in Confession, our attachment to sin has become part of the soil where God is to build His house. The previous house has been demolished and the surface of the field is clear, but beneath the top soil are the roots of sin, which, if not acknowledged, cannot be dug out like the weeds they are. Being absolved cleanses us of the eternal punishment we deserve, but the attached roots that remain must be acknowledged and God’s help must be begged to weed them out.
 
“Without me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me and I in him, he is like a branch that is thrown away”.
– Jn 15:5
 
This is the most difficult truth that Francis had to face, if he was going to be raised as a living stone in Christ’s Church. It’s the lesson that Francis leaves for his followers. Live aware of the roots of sin in you, also remain aware of Christ’s presence through whom all things are possible.
 

“With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” – Mt 19:26

“The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.” – Ps 118:22

 

“Nothing is impossible for God” (Lk 1:37). He is more powerful and closer to us than the roots of sin. When we 

see our nakedness, where the only thing left are the roots of sin, God is closer than those roots. Unlike the roots of sin, God is alive.

May the Immaculate always light our empty lot so that we may see our attachments to sin and her living Son always willing to clear the ground and help us build his house.


 

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