Every day, each experience we have helps us grow in our faith and in our purpose: to achieve holiness; to become saints; to fully become the person God intends us to be.
Each experience, then, has the potential to be “purgative.” Purgation is a process that gets us ready for God. Just as God’s grace was given to the martyrs, so it is given to us to grow in holiness and towards sainthood.
In this process, it is imperative to see God as the Potter and know that we are the clay. Each experience, then, is given over to God for His guidance and our growth. Sainthood means allowing God to mold us just as a Potter molds clay. (Isaiah 64:7)
Everything we experience is an opportunity to grow in our holiness. God can “make us worthy and powerfully bring to fulfillment every good purpose” by giving us circumstances that cause us to depend on Him, to trust in Him, and to respond according to His will
In other words, through our circumstances we allow God to mold us into a loving, forgiving, humble person versus a bitter, frustrated, angry person. (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12)
During this process, our passions can take us places that we may not have ever dreamed of and thus do things that are completely unique to each of us. In these places we cannot be lukewarm Catholics—we are expected to be on fire for our faith so that God can use us to build up the kingdom! In this the Year of Faith, it is important to ask God to ignite our passions so that you can serve Him. It is time to pray that God saves us from a lukewarm existence where we neither serve Him nor grow in our holiness. (Revelation 3:15-16)
We each have received different blessings from God. Maybe we have good health or we have a rewarding career. Is intelligence or a great marriage our blessing? God’s blessings are another way that we can grow in holiness towards our sainthood. For God to mold us into sainthood with our blessings, we have to actively offer them back to God. We have to honor God with them. They aren’t meant to stockpile but to serve. (Proverbs 3:5-10)
For many of us, the most profound way that God is able to mold us is through our sufferings and our struggles. In our weakest, most vulnerable moments, when there seems to be no hope nor any other solution, we crawl to the foot of the cross and lay our cares upon Christ who died for us. Oftentimes, before we make that journey to the cross, we mistakenly think we are able to take care of ourselves and thus miss the opportunities to grow in holiness and towards sainthood. (2 Corinthians 12:10)
When we are pleading for God to reach down from heaven and touch us—and give us “signs”—it is probably time to take a step back and look at the people with whom our paths have crossed. God uses all the people—family and friends and critics and adversaries alike—to mold us. Each person has been placed in our life for a reason: to grow in holiness and become a saint. Whether the person has put a stone in our path making it more difficult, or has removed one, each person can help us each reach our goal of sainthood! (Mark 16:2-6)
In all things, through all circumstances, and throughout each day, God desires each of us to grow in holiness towards sainthood. This can only happen when we allow Him to be the Potter and recognize that we are the clay.