Some Saints are hard to relate to, but when (Saint) Paul says he begged God to relieve him of his suffering, I breathe a sigh of relief and think sanctity actually is achievable. That it can exist for someone who has asked, time and time again, for relief. For comfort. Because that's me. Maybe that's you too.
But then sometimes (not always!), Saint Paul loses me when he talks about his acceptance, and his being content with his weaknesses and suffering for the sake of Christ—"for when I am weak, then I am strong," he says.
Some days, I feel it. Other days, I don't. Increasingly we are aware as a society that we can't and don't and shouldn't pretend to do it all. When we are weak and vulnerable, our relationships can actually grow stronger.
And that has been an absolutely true lived-out experience for me in my relationships with my husband, friends & family, and my relationship with God our Father, too.
The times in my life when I have turned to Him—and looked for Him desperately—have been times when I was in great need. They were times when I was feeling my weakness, when it was louder than anything else.
And He responded.
I think sometimes of what He might have been trying to tell me before those moments, when I wasn't in as-much-need, when I didn't feel or accept my weaknesses just yet.
He was still there; He was still trying to communicate. But maybe my pride and thinking, I've got it stopped me from growing in relationship with Him. Or in feeling Him providing for me all along.
And then I've thought: maybe this is why. Maybe this is why He's shown me my weaknesses—that I may see how desperately I need Him, so that I would seek Him out.
He wants to work through our weaknesses, I know that. The question is when we will let Him. It may be too difficult to love our crosses and weaknesses right now, but a small step forward seems to be to ask Him to be with us in our weakness, and to see where we go from there.
Let us invite Our Lord into our weakness right now, today, sisters. Pray an "Our Father" and envision the Father opening His arms for you.
Annie Deddens is a writer and producer. She runs a prayer ministry with her husband, called Pray More Novenas. She has a heart for the sick & suffering, and she writes about living with greater faith (hope & love, too) in this imperfect world as a Catholic wife. You can find out more about her here.