From Jean-Pierre de Caussade, “Abandonment to Divine Providence”

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.”

tr John Beevers. I don’t super get this book, but this passage in general and the word “disfiguring” in particular stand out to me. They remind me of one of the wisest things I’ve read, which went something like, “Adulthood means caring less about your identity and more about your life.” Practicing detachment from one’s self-image, whether negative or positive.

More on de Caussade soon.


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