God works all things for our good,
To conform us to his image.
All his commands obey we should,
As we behold his visage.
So daily do his cross we bear
And of our sins repent;
And daily give ourselves to prayer,
And for his work be spent.
For holiness is our goal;
Towards this end we strive.
Deep change he works within our soul
And Hope he keeps alive.
Soon we will in his presence be:
Spotless, holy, blameless, free,
Because the Lord on Calvary’s tree
Gave up his life for you and me!
I am reminded once again that our failures are not final, that they are mysteriously integral to our sanctification.
What this fragmentary and difficult conversation points towards is the Communion of Saints. I’m understanding this not just as a communion of perfected persons, who have left their imperfections behind them; but rather as a communion of whole lives, of whole itineraries towards God. The whole itinerary is what we constantly retell in the lives of the saints. These include even the moments of betrayal, as the Gospel story retells the moment when Peter disavowed Christ. This is not wiped out by Peter’s subsequent life. But God’s response was such that the bitter sorrow he felt when the cock crew was a step towards his apostolic life after Pentecost. God made even this a stepping stone towards sanctity, and in this meaning it belongs integrally to his life as a saint.
[Bold emphasis added]
– Charles Taylor, A Secular Age, p. 754