God does not call us to perfection but to persevere in faith, and thorough our perseverance and His grace He perfects us. Our imperfections like the cross that Christ bore can burden us, or if united with Christ lift us up.
I find great solace in the lives of the saints. For most, including many of the greatest saints did not lead perfect lives – David murdered and committed adultery, Peter denied Christ, Paul persecuted the Church, Augustine committed adultery. Each of these great saints repented of their sins and persevered in faith. God forgave them, lifted them up, and perfected them.
We are similarly called. We can be burdened or lifted up by our imperfections. To be lifted up, we must repent with a truly sorrowful heart, unite them with Christ, and tenaciously persevere in faith. Through repentance, perseverance of faith and hope, we too can be perfected as they were by God’s grace.