And every one that hears these sayings of mine, and does them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand:
All Commentaries on Matthew 7:26 Go To Matthew 7
Cornelius a Lapide
And whose heareth these sayings of mine, &c. Rightly is the instability and disobedience of him who heareth the words of Christ and doeth them not likened unto sand. For, 1. Sand is soft and shifting, so that it cannot afford a solid and durable foundation2. Sand is dry; and so the unstable mind which doeth not that which it heareth is dry and empty of virtue and the moisture of the Divine Spirit3. Sand is blown about by the wind and dispersed into all quarters; so too a light and inconstant mind is carried into every sort of concupiscence by every breath of desire and temptation4. As sand is very fine and composed of millions of little grains, so the unstable heart is filled with a thousand cogitations and desires after vain and trifling things.
Tropologically, the foolish and worldly person builds upon sand, i.e, says Salmeron, upon creatures, who like sand are barren for good, and in a state of fluidity, so as to fall away into sin, and shaken by the waves because they are agitated by labours and temptations. For as sand is dry, or bibulous and insatiable, so creatures cannot satisfy the soul of man. Sand is also very numerous; so likewise the wicked are innumerable, and "infinite is the company of fools." Sand therefore denotes all the people of the devil—sterile, and by no means united, whereas the people of God are strong and united like a rock. For though many be called, few are chosen.
And the rain descended, &c. Rain denotes the temptation of the world; rivers, of the flesh; the winds, of the devil. For rain coming down from on high, and causing the earth to swell and making it fruitful, denotes ambition of honours and the desire of wealth, which the world offers to the vain and inconstant Prayer of Manasseh , whereby he is made to depart from the law of God, and fall away from the faith. Rivers, or floods which arise out of the earth, denote the temptations of the flesh, as gluttony and lust, which have their origin in the flesh itself, so to say. Winds, which from the atmosphere blow against the house laterally and invisibly, denote the temptations of the devil, who is an invisible spirit, and the prince of the power of the air. For he insinuates, and as it were blows into our fancy a thousand depraved thoughts and desires, and they are so subtil that sometimes thou knowest not whether they come from an angel, or the devil. For Satan transforms himself into an angel of light.