Saying vs Doing


To say” is a way of communicating, a way of believing, but very superficial.  Sort of half-way between really believing and hoping what is said is true.  “Doing” on the other hand is the concrete action that proves itself. 

“To say” that I desire something is expressing an unfulfilled wish.  “To do” is actually fulfilling the wish list of things said.

Pope Francis in one of his December morning homilies compared ‘saying’ and ‘doing’ to building one’s house on solid rock (doing) vs building the house on sand without a solid foundation – ‘saying, hoping’.  In his reflection he called the works of mercy concrete solid examples of “doing”.  Not just saying “I’m sorry to hear that you are sick.”  But doing something concrete to alleviate that person’s sickness – visiting with some nutritious food, helping with their home work, et al.

What are some examples of sand?  Appearing at an event purely to enjoy without contributing or participating in the action.  Sandy attitudes include vanity, pride, arrogance, worldliness, selfishness, and uncertainty.

Attitudes of solid rock are formed through knowing oneself, trusting in oneself and the Lord God, on truth, responsibility, and concrete meaningful purpose and action.

How can we discover if we are building our lives on sand, or on rock?  Pope Francis concluded his talk by inviting us to ask ourselves penetrating questions like these: Am I able to do what I say I can do?  Do I build my life on the rock of God or on the sand of worldliness and vanity?

This has been the basis for many of my New Year reflections this year.  I began by listing down my hopes and dreams and New Year resolutions for 2019.  Then I started examining each of these in terms of how and what can I do, what am I able to do, to bring these sayings to fruition, to concrete actions.

My reflections fostered a myriad of do’s and don’ts and maybe’s.  But I am not looking at the difficulties involved in the doings.  I view each as a blessing in disguise, a blessing that will really come to me if I venture past the hopes, dreams, anticipations, difficulties, ‘sayings’ and embrace the experiences of ‘doing’    as a way of becoming stronger and a more positive, caring person.

The year 2019 stretches before us.  Let us, each one of us, tear down our structures of sand, and build our future on the solidness of rock in 2019 and beyond.