Thursday in the Seventeenth Week of Ordinary Time

Jeremiah was told, “Whenever the object of clay which he was making turned out badly in his hand, he tried again, making of the clay another object of whatever sort he pleased. Can I not do to you… as this potter has done? says the LORD.”

Jean-Pierre De Cassaude tells us, “In the state of abandonment …the abandoned soul is like a sculptor’s stone. With each blow of the hammer the stone only feels that it is being diminished, cut, and altered by the chisel. And a stone -not knowing what it will become- if it were asked, “What is happening to you?” would reply, “Do not ask me, I only know one thing, and that is, to remain immovable in the hands of my master, to love him, and to endure all that he inflicts upon me. As for the end for which I am destined, it is His business to understand how it is to be accomplished.”

In our refectory book, “Living Vocationally”, Paul Wadell & Charles Pinches caution us against the idea that we would be happier “if only we were somebody else.” We think, “No matter who I’m with, where I’m at, or what I’m doing, I always want to be somebody else, somewhere else with someone else doing something else. I never want to be me, here, now, with you.”  The authors note that we may begin the journey this way, but they cite Jeremiah’s call. He completed the journey by fidelity. They emphasize that we come to life by promising and even more so by keeping the promise.  And the power to do that comes from God’s promise: “Don’t worry; I will be with you.”

In short, Jeremiah and Fr. Jean-Pierre De Caussade are telling us that, on our part, holiness is not achieved, it is allowed