The Sculptor who would form his soul in the image of Christ sees himself faced with a crowd of obstacles. He has of course, the grace of God, which according to S. Paul’s words is sufficient. But he has not, let us say, her who is the Channel of grace. He is alone, and what weakness and misery is the portion of man when he is alone, without Mary!
He begins on the block from which he would make an image of Christ. But this block is himself, with his evil nature, his faults, his sins, his inclinations, temptations, all his enemies within and without. His courage may be great and meritorious, his work unremitting, but he is alone in his struggle against himself and a world of obstacles. He lacks the inspiration of grace, support from above, a mother’s counsel. He is at the mercy of an accident, a false stroke, fatigue, he trusts to his own knowledge, to his natural talent. But the result of so much effort is almost negligible. The block is hardly any smaller; the divine effigy of Jesus is hardly recognizable.
So that Blessed Louis is justified in his sad exclamation:
‘How many stains, how many defects, how many illusions, how much of what is merely natural and human, there is in that first soul!’
We do not see rise before us, beneath the artist’s hand, a living soul, glorious in purity and perfection, in light and certainty, in the supernatural and the divine, a soul stamped with the effigy of Him Whose ideal Exemplar was shown us on the mountain, of Jesus Christ formed in Mary.
(To be continued.)