The Implements of Grace
Have you ever looked closely at a great statue? If we pay attention, we can almost see the artist’s intent in every part of its form. We can glean that the style of the artist is forever engraved in each of the chiseled surfaces. If you can imagine it, bit by bit, stroke by stroke, with perseverance, the image of the work was transferred from the artist’s mind into the marble block, and eventually, after much effort, the work was done. We now have art. We can see the artist’s identity in the work, for a part of him is there, embedded within every line. We can appreciate the sculpture and appraise its value, for it results from both an ability and effort that are beyond most of us.
As I was looking at the world-famous “The Pieta,” I was astonished at the piece’s beauty, and I immediately recognized the extraordinary talent and faith of the artist, Michelangelo. Yet, the thought that stayed with me was neither about the Pieta nor about Michelangelo. What struck me and would not leave me was the idea that the implements used to create this extraordinary work must have genuinely accomplished their purpose well.
Michelangelo could not have made the Pieta without his tools and instruments. There must have been a particular tool to use for every specialized task… many types of hammers, chisels, and rasps. The work could not have been completed without them. They were the conduit for the will of the artist. Yet, for those who look at the finished product, the artist’s implements are hidden.
Nobody looks to see how great a hammer was that transferred the artist’s power to the marble or how excellent the chisels were that carved the lines of the final work. The artist’s implements are not considered important, yet the art’s creator knows their true value. He chooses the perfect tool for the right job. He cares for the instrument, appreciates its characteristics, and uses it to the fullness of its capability.
When we look at the world and all that is faithful and beautiful in it, we might be able to focus on the work that has been made and recognize God as the Creator. His Grace shapes the world. God’s intent as the Creator is to shape the world into the most perfect and sacred creation. But what about his implements?
We are meant to be the implements of God’s Grace.
Can you imagine the tools going against the will of the artist? It would not work very well, and the result of this would be seen in the final product.
Our will must be aligned to God’s will for us. That way, we will allow His Grace to flow into the world and affect His creation in a dynamic way. The world is everchanging… God’s Grace can flow through us if we are willing. We choose to surrender to His will for us and His will for the world.
Even the most minute details are necessary things... The work is not completed until all the details are implemented. Our part in the whole of creation may seem minimal or even insignificant, yet our Lord knows the value of our contribution.
God, our Creator, values His implements. Through the Humble Eucharist at Mass, He provides the care necessary to keep us in working shape. Through the Sacraments, we receive the maintenance that keeps us able to receive and channel His Grace.
Because we have free will, It would be more difficult to complete the necessary work without our consent. If we consent to His will for us, we can offer Him our time and ability in true humility. Then we can be an integral part of shaping His most sacred art. Therefore, the question for us is simple: Do we want to be active participants in our Lord’s efforts to shape the world into its most beautiful form? Are we willing to become His implements of Grace?
Let us pray: Lord of all Creation, we offer you our hands, our minds, and our hearts, that we may be able to become your implements of Grace. That through your life in us, we may be able to help shape the world into your most beautiful Kingdom. Amen.
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We are Ivonne J. Hernandez, Rick Hernandez and Laura Worhacz, Lay Associates of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, and brothers and sisters in Christ.