We come to God messy, broken, compromised by selfishness, and wounded by hurts others have inflicted on us or that we’ve inflicted on ourselves. If we’re honest, we can also name the ways we’ve hurt others as well. By accepting God’s grace, we slowly are healed, and we slowly grow into becoming the person God invites us to be. The key word here is slowly. The monastic name for this process is formation. We are “formed” as members of the mystical Body of Christ, as living embodiments of all the spiritual gifts, including love, humility, compassion, prayer, and silence. In formation, God shapes us into the form of blessings God bestows upon us. So formation is a means by which we receive God’s blessing – and it is in itself a blessing, a gift, from God.
Carl McColman, Befriending Silence: Discovering the Gifts of Cistercian Spirituality (Notre Dame, IN: Ave Maria Press, 2015), p. 41. ISBN: 978-1-59471-615-7.