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When weakness becomes a source of strength

That Pauline statement, “For when I am weak, then I am strong”, (2 Cor 12,10) should make us feel reassured and consoled every time we are hounded and burdened by all sorts of difficulties and troubles, including when we are tempted and fall into sin.

We have to know what exactly St. Paul meant by those words. What we can readily see is that he made all these predicaments a reason for him to go to Christ, to identify himself more closely with Christ, who went all the way to making himself like sin without committing sin just to save us. (cfr. 2 Cor 5,21)

We have to learn how to react to all these negative and evil elements in our life from the point of view of our Christian faith, and never just from our own estimation of things that would often lead us to be scandalized, to feel bad and discouraged, and to run away from the one who can resolve everything for us, including those we cannot anymore resolve.

Our faith in God can still work and function even if we are down spiritually and morally, because it is, first of all, a gift from God who will always give it to us irrespective of how we have been behaving. We should just try our best to receive it and to correspond to it as best that we can.

With that faith, we know that God is always merciful. “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him”, we are told. (Jn 3,17) And Christ himself said, “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance”. (Lk 5,32)

And there still many other passages and parables that reiterate that ever-available mercy of God for all of us.

We have to learn how to react properly when we are bothered by our weaknesses, temptations, when we fall into sin and are hounded by all kinds of difficulties, trials, and challenges. We have to consider these predicaments as golden opportunities to get closer to Christ, to identify ourselves more intimately with him.

So, instead of running away from God because of these predicaments, we should rather run fast toward him, asking for light and help, for forgiveness if we already have fallen into sin. It is only then that these predicaments can become sources of strength.

We have to be wary of our tendency to run away from God due to shame or fear, for that can only mean that we are being tricked by the devil or are simply being guided by our own very limited and error-prone estimation of things rather than by our Christian faith.

If we react with faith, then we can still have hope and practice charity despite the worst predicament that we can fall into in this life. If we react with faith, we can fulfill what St. Paul recommended when we have to deal with all sorts of evil in the world. And that is that we can put on the whole armor of God. That way, we put ourselves in the best condition of “being strong in the Lord and in his mighty power”. (Eph 6,10)

There is a certain invincibility that we can enjoy even in the midst of all the cuts and wounds that are unavoidable in our earthly struggles.*

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