Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Sculpting of A Soul

I once heard a beautiful analogy manifesting how God works to perfect us. It fell in the context of a discussion on Love and it's first quality (according to St. Paul), Patience. I will try to recreate it here as best as I can:

["God desires to form a masterpiece in our soul. He wishes to form in our soul the perfect image of His Son, just as an artist would make a beautiful statue. But to make a statue you need a chisel and you need a hammer, to chip away.

There is a great story of a French artist who made an incredibly realistic statue of a horse. It was so perfect. It had every muscle, every hair so perfectly executed. It looked as though at any moment it could jump off its pedestal and gallop away. When the people saw this they asked the sculptor, "How did you make a statue that is so perfect an image of a horse?" He replied, "It was really quite simple. I took a block of marble, and I used my chisel and chipped away every piece of marble that did not look like a horse. And what was left was a horse."

Now, God the Father is trying to chip away everything in us that does not look like His Divine Son. How does He chip away? The chisels He uses are our neighbors, those in our lives. This person smacks us here and that one smacks us there. And if we submit, we will become a masterpiece. If not, we will be left rough and unfinished."] - Father Basil Nortz, ORC on The Qualities of Love

Lent is a time of chipping away, isn't it? In words it seems so easy. All I have to do is submit to the Artistry of God. It sounds rather romantic. But this week I have only submitted to the brushstrokes of a painter, not the chisel of a sculptor.

It is said of persons of the sanguine temperament that we are like bees who fly from one flower to the next, always seeking more delight and more beauty. (Those of you who know me, you can stop nodding and laughing!) We enjoy all too well the comforts of this life, the tasty foods, soft blankets and such, and for us, times of constant reflection or sacrifice can be very difficult if we are undisciplined.

Next week marks not only the halfway point on the Lenten path, but it will also be a new week. Perhaps I can do better. Thank heaven for God's infinite mercy!


marianne said...

Lovely Kristen. Thank you for sharing this. Don't be discouraged, God gave you your temperament so He knows what your strengths and weaknesses are. God bless!


Jennifer said...

Amazing post. I loved the imagery you used.

Kristen Laurence said...

Thank you for visiting, ladies. I love the imagery Fr. Basil uses, too. It made a profound impression on me when I first heard it.

Lillian said...

I loved that story and so did my dh. Thanks!

Margaret in Minnesota said...
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Margaret in Minnesota said...

God tried to sculpt my soul this Friday and all I can say is I balked under the blows of His loving chisel.

I'm with you, Kristen. I hope that I do better this week.