Potter’s Clay

There are many changes happening in my life at the moment, changes that I don’t want to over dramatize or magnify, because they are already magnificent in themselves. They are big changes, not necessarily characterized as negative or positive. It is not right to judge, especially in the early stages of each of these changes.

This word came to Jeremiah from the LORD:
Rise up, be off to the potter’s house; there I will give you my message.
I went down to the potter’s house and there he was, working at the wheel.
Whenever the object of clay which he was making turned out badly in his hand, he tried again, making of the clay another object of whatever sort he pleased.

Then the word of the LORD came to me:
Can I not do to you, house of Israel, as this potter has done’ says the LORD.
Indeed, like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, house of Israel. –  Jeremiah 18:1-6

Each change — whether it be career, relationships, friendships, community life, living situation, family life, emotional growth, spiritual growth, and spiritual guidance — teaches me and reminds me of a few big things about my faith.

1. Prayer

Jesus would often slip away to the wilderness and pray. – Luke 5:16

Sometimes, there is just too much noise and now, I’ve heard enough of it and the echoes that they leave inside my head… And the man-made wilderness is washed away when I remember and run off to seek nature’s wilderness, to the waves on a beach with the sand under my feet and the ocean in my hair. I pray to God to wash me clean and make me new. He truly heals, and even if I don’t live by the beach, I carry it with me to remind myself.

2God is with us. God is in us.

2. Trial

For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with. – Matthew 18:20

In moments of weakness, I am blessed to have special persons there to remind me to pray, to bring me back to Scripture and to daily devotions when I allow the other voices get a hold of me. The Holy Spirit works in us, and through us. The Lord sends us His graces at the moments of need. 3If God is for us, who can be against us?

And these troubles and sufferings of ours, are, after all, quite small and won’t last very long. Yet this short time of distress will result in God’s richest blessings upon us forever and ever. – 2 Corinthians 4:17

4A holy soul once experienced difficult trials. One calamity after another befell her, and each succeeding disaster seemed worse than the one before. Finally, that soul turned affectionately to our Lord and asked, ‘But Lord, what have I done to you?’ And in the depths of her heart came the reply, ‘You have loved me.’ She thought of Calvary and understood a little better how our Lord wanted to purify her and draw her close to the salvation of many who were lost, far from God. She was then filled with peace and joy. 

3. Faith and Sight

Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight.
– 2 Corinthians  5:6-7

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. – Hebrews 1:11

When we are discerning the will of God in our lives, what I’ve realized is that many eyebrows are raised, and most people are hasty to judge for what they see on the outside. Most people are comfortable judging my actions, my decisions, my choices … but those judgements don’t tell me anything about myself. The criticism only reveals the truth about the critic and not the criticized. To consider the concerns if there are any, would be wise, but to allow them to affect me would either immobilize me or take me off the path that I have constantly discerned and persistently prayed for. They may not see what is happening to me, they may not know how the Holy Spirit is working in my life, and they don’t have to know or see anything for me to move forward in my faith journey. I have nothing to prove to anyone but to the Lord Himself.

4. Learning and Love

The Lord will fight for you, and you won’t need to lift a finger. – Exodus 14:14

It’s funny how at the time 2 years ago and even last year when I was most spiritually high and filled and I felt the fierce fire of the Holy Spirit burning within me, the Lord chose to put me in a community that was hurting each other. I heard two sides of the same story, and people talking about how much they hurt and need healing. … I’ve learned a lot out of that experience, and what is of God and what is not of God. So now even if others go to me with their judgements, I still come from a place of Love. Even if others go to me with their heaviness and frustrations, I still come from a place of Love. Even if others don’t show me kindness and are tactless with their words, I still come from a place of Love. The Lord will heal me, Love will heal me.

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. – 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

5. Humility

Others may be more educated than me, older than me, been in the community longer than me, and have had more experience than me… But in the Lord, we are all equal. We are all children of God, and we are all trying to find our way. I am blessed to have a father who is strong in faith and practices it persistently, contemplatively, consistently, and most important, humbly. I will end this entry with a wonderful email he sent me a few weeks ago and his wise words this morning while we were in the kitchen, preparing our lunch, “When the Lord is working in you and changing you, you will find it difficult. Mahirap siya. But that is sacrifice. That is your cross. Carry it, and remain humble.” :

The road to Humility…

To the question, ‘How shall I become humble?’ corresponds the immediate answer, “Through the grace of God”… Only the grace of God can give us clear vision of our true condition and the awareness of the dignity that comes from humility. That is why we should desire this virtue and ask for it incessanty, convinced that with it, we shall love God and be capable of great enterprices despite our weakness… 

Everything the sun touches is bathed in light… 

Lord fill me with your clarity, bathe me in your divinity so that I may identify my will with your adorable Will and become the instrument you wish me to be. Given the madness to undergo the humiliation you underwent, which led you to be born poor, to work in obscurity, to endure the shame of dying sewn by nails to a piece of wood, to your self-effacement in the Blessed Sacraments.

May I know myself: may I know myself and know you. I will then never loose sight of my nothingness. Only thus will I be able to follow you as you wish, and as I wish: with a deep faith, a great love and without placing any obstacles in the way. 

One of the reasons why men are prone to praise one another, to overestimate their own value and abilities, to resent anything that tends to lower them in their own eyes or in the eyes of others, is that they see no hope for hapiness outside themselves. That is why they are often so hyper-sensitive, so resentful when they are critized, so upset by anyone who contradicts them, so insistent on getting their own way, so desirous of being well known, so anxious to be praised, so determined to control their surroundings. They secure themselves to themselves like a shipwrecked man holding on the straw. And life goes on and they move further and further away from happiness.

1. Video: Rob Machado & Alaia
2. Matthew 1:23
3. Romans 8:31
4. R. Garrigou-Lagrange, The Saviour
5. Photo: In the Light of Tuscany by Jaroslaw Pawlak


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