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“It is by coming to know Christ that we understand what our purpose is as human persons made in the image of God. It is by coming to know Christ that we come to understand how our life, even the sufferings and hardships of this life in this world, help to refine us and bring us closer to perfection as the person we were created to be. It is by coming to know Christ that we come to know who God is, and therefore who we are in relationship to Him. Our sinful passions are not part of who we are, or at least, not of who we were created to be. They are parasitic and destructive sins that have attached themselves to us in this life. For us to become who we truly are, we must be freed from them.” (Father Stephen De Young)

There is an assumption that truly seeing, truly understanding, and truly knowing are one and the same act…Of course, a key in all of this is found in the word “truly.” Its implications are found in Christ’s saying, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.” When read in the light of St. Paul’s “beholding as in a mirror,” this is revealed to be an ongoing, reciprocal action. As we see, we become pure. As we become pure, we see more clearly. This same action could be described as a “refining fire.” What we see (of God) also reveals the truth of ourselves. The sight of that truth, when compared with the sight of God, “burns.” This burning, refining image is the only true mirror of the soul. It is this aspect of seeing God that often causes us to turn away.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“Hardship need not break us. It can build, refine and reveal. That is the work of providence, God’s good will working in us a glory that is abundantly above all we could ask or think.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“...the ultimate purpose of life is to glorify God. That means that the first—but perhaps hardest to grasp—purpose for our suffering is the glory of God. The words suffering and glory are linked in a surprising number of biblical passages…In some mysterious way, troubles and suffering refine us like gold and turn us, inwardly and spiritually, into something beautiful and great.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

“The love that you now give will last forever. The suffering that you now experience will last forever, though not as suffering but rather as refinement and perfection. It is suffering here, but there it will be glory.” (Father Andrew Stephen Damick)

"Consider how ore, when first removed from the earth, appears to possess little value. Yet despite its unattractive appearance, the dross can be refined away to reveal the pure and gleaming metal. Thus it is with the saints, as the Scriptures teach us (Wis 3:6). God is a keen, observant craftsman. He works with precious hearts. He knows which are made of fool’s gold and which are acceptable for refining.” (Dynamis 12/5/2019)

“It takes intense heat to purify gold and silver. Similarly, it often takes the heat of trials for the Christian to be purified. Through trials, God shows us what is in us and clears out anything that gets in the way of complete trust in Him…So when tough times come your way, realize that God wants to use them to refine your faith and purify your heart.” (Life Application Study Bible, Proverbs 17:3)

“Refiners throw pieces of gold into the furnace to be tested and purified by the fire. In the same way, God allows human souls to be tested by troubles until they become pure, transparent, and have profited greatly from the process. Therefore, this is the greatest advantage we have. So then, we shouldn’t be disturbed or discouraged when trials happen to us. For if refiners know how long to leave a piece of gold in the furnace, and when to draw it out, if they don’t allow it to remain in the fire until it is burnt up and destroyed, how much better does God understand this process! When He sees that we have become purer, He frees us from our trials so that we won’t be crushed and defeated by them." (St. John Chrysostom)

“Gethsemane is not for us a one-time experience. In His mercy, God does not force us to see all of our sin at once. Yes, it often seems that we have hit bottom when we are overwhelmed by the messiness and darkness we see in ourselves. Yes, every time I come to the Garden to sweat great drops of blood, and to say again, “not my will, but yours be done,” yes, every time I submit to the Cross and experience a Resurrection, every time I think, “OK, I’m glad that’s over.” But it’s not over, not until it’s over. This world is a crucible, and we are being refined like gold. So long as we live and breathe in this world we experience what St. Isaac calls “changeableness.” We are refined and purified so that we can more clearly radiate the Light of Christ, which is indeed the very clothing with which God clothes us.” (Fr. Michael Gillis)

“A good question to ask ourselves is do our circumstances define us or refine us? God is at work in every circumstance and there is always opportunity with Him for our growth and refinement if we are attuned and willing.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)

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