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Chuck's Blog

Immovable in the Hands of the Sculptor - A Reprise

Chuck Neff - Tuesday, December 06, 2011

I was thinking the other day that it might be time to post one of my favorite quotes again.  I think this may become an annual affair – a simple reminder the Creator of the Universe knows exactly what He is doing even when the chaos of our lives might seem to indicate otherwise. 

 This is from Abandonment to Divine Providence.  Its author is a French priest named Fr. Jean-Pierre de Caussade.  What follows comes from page 82 of the translation I have.

 “It is true that a canvas simply and blindly offered to the brush feels at each moment only the stroke of the brush.  It is the same with a lump of stone.  Each blow from the hammering of the sculptor’s chisel makes it feel – if it could – as if it were being destroyed.  As blow after blow descends, the stone knows nothing of how the sculptor is shaping it.  All it feels is a chisel chopping away at it, cutting it and mutilating it.  For example, let’s take a piece of stone destined to be carved into a crucifix or a statue.  We might ask it: ‘What do you think is happening to you?’  And, it might answer: ‘Don’t ask me.  All I know is that I must stay immovable in the hands of the sculptor, and I must love him and endure all he inflicts on me to produce the figure he has in mind.  He knows how to do it.  As for me, I have no idea what he is doing, nor do I know what he will make of me.  But what I do know is that his work is the best possible.  It is perfect.  I welcome each blow of his chisel as the best thing that could happen to me, although, if I’m to be truthful, I feel that every one of these blows is ruining me, destroying me and disfiguring me.  But, I remain unconcerned.  I concentrate on the present moment, think only of my duty, and suffer all that this master sculptor inflicts on me without knowing his purpose or fretting about it.”

 The question of the day for all of us – can we quit squirming and trust completely in God’s Divine Providence?