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The Way of the Cross
by Jean-Pierre de Caussade

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 hand of the sculptor, and I must love him and endure all he inflicts on me to produce a 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 the chisel as the best thing that could happen to me, although, if I'm to be truthful, If feel that every one of these blows is ruining me, destroying me and disfiguring me. But I remain unconcerned. I ccncentrate on the present moment, think only of my duty,and suffer all that the master sculptor inflicts on me without knowing the purpose or fretting about it."