“That I might not become too elated, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, an angel of Satan, to beat me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me, but he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.’ I will rather boast most gladly of my weakness, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me.” (2 Cor 12- 7-9)
We are weakened by the knowledge of our shortcomings. It seems that no matter how often I pray for a clean heart, I find myself filled with the sharp pain of jealousy or a mean thought. My prayers for a clean tongue find me cursing over a small problem or speaking ill of someone. It is not easy wanting to be a saint and living as a sinner. The good side of all this work is the knowledge that of myself I am nothing. Another good aspect of living this way is that I come to depend on the grace of God and not on me. I always fall. When I think of Christ’s passion and his three falls that are part of the Stations of the Cross, I am amazed that he continually got up again.
Some of the people I talk to think of religious people as self-righteous, pompous. Maybe some are. I think most of us are so cognizant of our weaknesses and our dependence on God that it comes across differently to those who don’t even know what we’re talking about. The world preaches self-sufficiency. It never worked for me. Alone I am in bad company.
I am so happy to be a Catholic Christian. I am so happy to be a member of the universal church He established which continues to teach me as I age and allows me to go deeply into intimacy with Jesus Christ. There is no end to the wisdom of our faith…no end to the beauty that lifts me up and asks nothing of me but to follow the still, small voice to the journey’s end.