Perfect Strength in Weakness?

3 Aug

Sometimes, it’s like being frozen in place — wanting to move forward, unsure what that might mean. Where do you go? Where is the answer?

Three times I begged the Lord that this might leave me. He said to me, “My grace is enough for you, for in weakness power reaches perfection.” And so I willingly boast of my weaknesses instead, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  (2 Cor 12:8-9)

St. Paul gives us this treasure, this well of hope, as he talks about how Satan was tormenting him, about his weakness in the face of evil.

He proclaims this marvelous truth: “And so I willingly boast of my weaknesses instead, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

The “power” is clear – it is Christ, his grace and his redeeming love.

But what is this “weakness” about which Paul is boasting? Is it his cringing from the power of Satan, or is it his tendency toward sin?

Though I thought that was his “weakness” and tried to see that in my own life, I’ve come to another realization: The “weakness” about which we can and should boast is our inability to change our life on our own. We are too weak for that. This weakness is our ticket to sanctity and eternal life – because it makes us totally dependent on Christ, his power, his grace, his redeeming love.

St. Paul after insisting that we preach only “Jesus Christ as Lord,” goes on to say, “But we hold this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us” (2 Cor 4:5-7).

So, some food for thought:

  • Stop fighting Satan – run to Jesus for he has already won the battle.
  • Say you’re in church and you know that the person preaching is, like yourself, an earthen vessel, a cracked pot – see the power of Christ coming through this wounded sinner.
  • Even though you are a cracked pot yourself, and you leak very badly, keep on coming to God – to Reconciliation and Eucharist – for refills. Eventually, the cracks will begin to heal.
  • Place all your trust in the Lord; surrender to God and he will do everything for you; forgive yourself because God forgives you and you are not smarter than God.
  • Persevere! Persevere! Persevere!



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