Our task is to offer ourselves up to God like a clean, smooth canvas and not bother ourselves about what God may choose to paint on it, but, at every moment, feel only the stroke of his brush. It is the same with a piece of stone. Each blow from the chisel of the sculptor makes it feel - if it could feel - if it were being destroyed. As blow after blow rains down on it, the stone knows nothing about how the sculptor is shaping it. All it feels is a chisel hacking away at it, savaging it and mutilating it.
Let us take, for example, a piece of stone that is 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 well answer: 'Why are you asking me? All I know is that I must stay immobile in the hands of the sculptor. I have no notion of what he is doing, nor do I know what he will make of me. What I do know, however, is that his work is the finest imaginable. It is perfect. I welcome each blow of his chisel as the best thing that could happen to me, although, if I am to tell the complete truth, I feel that every one of these blows is ruining me, destroying me, and disfiguring me.'
(Jean Pierre de Caussade)