Day 9 — Feast of Blessed Solanus — The Potter and the Clay
Throughout this Novena we have learned about the lives of the many saints whose feasts led up to this day, as well as the faith and holiness of Fr. Solanus Casey. Today let us consider these themes together in the light of the first reading. The themes from the past 8 days:
- Recognizing Jesus in others;
- The blessings of marriage and family-life;
- Conversion of heart leading to unity, peace, and joy;
- Suffering well with Jesus; giving our trials in every moment;
- Living in gratitude and thanking God ahead of time;
- Noticing little blessings that grow our lives in Christ;
- Simple faith that encourages others;
- Giving hospitality to others and listening to Jesus in them.
All of these themes were manifest in the life of Blessed Solanus. He was like the potter in the first reading today, and he allowed the grace of Jesus Christ to flow through his actions and words into other people.
“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” (Jer 18:1-6).
Fr. Solanus did the work of God day-by-day, greeting people, feeding them, listening to them, and interceding for them. Were all his prayers answered right away? No, but God, the true Potter, continued to work the clay to form it according to His will. This is how prayer works. Saint Paul says “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Rom 8:28). God will take every part of our lives and make it into something good. There is nothing that He cannot use for our good.
We are the clay, but we can also be the potter! The families that we grow up in are the trinitarian image of God’s love that continually form us, pick us up when things are going badly, and start anew. The saints we meet in our everyday lives are God’s forming hands that encourage us and pray for us. (Blessed are we to have even one of these saints of God in our lives!). Just as God showed Jeremiah what He can do through the example of a potter, God shows us what He can do through everyday saints like Blessed Solanus. We are called to be imitators!
Today, on his feast day, let us ask Blessed Solanus to intercede for our Church, that we will be the image of the most loving and merciful Jesus to our families and to our world. Let us pray that as the potter, in the image of the divine Potter, we will be patient and gentle; and that as the clay we will receive with joy and gratitude the blessings the Potter gives. Amen. Alleluia!
Prayer for the Canonization of Father Solanus Casey
O God, I adore You. I give myself to You.
May I be the person You want me to be,
and may Your will be done in my life today.
I thank You for the gifts You gave Father Solanus.
If it is Your will, bless us with the Canonization of
Father Solanus so that others may imitate
and carry on his love for all the poor and suffering of our world.
As he joyfully accepted Your divine plans,
I ask You, according to Your will,
to hear my prayer for…(your intention)
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
“Blessed be God in all His designs.”