“When a flood came, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and it could not shake it; for it was founded on a rock.” The theme for this year in St. Mary’s Academy is BUILD. As they witness the foundations of the new Immaculata taking form before their very eyes, the students will learn what it means to build upon a firm foundation in every aspect of their lives. They will be taught that, in the intellectual realm, all learning will be pointless unless it’s founded upon a great love and desire for the truth; on the moral level, there’s no substantial progress until one has developed well-founded habits of virtuous action; and in the spiritual life, all impressive external activities will be useless unless at their source there is the dynamic action of sanctifying grace habitually in the soul.
Unless we build upon a rock-solid foundation, our efforts are nothing, and all the good we do will be in danger of collapsing at the slightest onslaught from the enemy. And what is this rock upon which we build? It must be Christ. “Petra erat Christus”; “and the rock was Christ” (1 Cor. 10:4). Christ is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life” (Jn. 14:6), He is the “Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end” (Apoc. 22:13). Always and everywhere the ultimate foundation of everything we do must be Our Lord Jesus Christ. “For other foundation no man can lay, but that which is laid; which is Christ Jesus” (1 Cor. 3:11). These are the truths that will be emphasized to the academy students throughout the coming year.
The front image of the holy card is Pietro Perugino’s 15th century fresco of “Christ Handing the Keys to St. Peter.” It reminds us that Christ’s Church is still standing today for this one reason: it’s founded on a rock. That rock is Christ, but Christ has handed over this prerogative of being the foundation stone to St. Peter (whose name, given to him by Christ, means “rock”) and to his successors. “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Mt. 16:18). If our lives are founded on Christ, then we too will withstand every storm and onslaught of the enemy. They will not shake us, for we shall be founded on a rock.