Thursday, July 16, 2009


"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness," said the Lord to the Holy Apostle Paul after he had asked for the third time to have the "thorn" removed from his side. Peter and Paul were the greatest of the apostles--not because they were perfect, but because the grace of God rested upon them so abundantly. Like all of us, these apostles had their strengths and weaknesses. Consider that St. Peter was the first to confess Jesus to be the Christ, the Son of the Living God. It was on the very "rock" of this faith that Christ promised to build His Church, against which the gates of hell (that is, the heretics) would not prevail. St. Paul, on the other hand, endured innumerable trials and tribulations in order to preach the Gospel throughout the world, yet before the risen Lord appeared to him on the road to Damascus, he was a foremost persecutor of the Church.

We are all called by God to be holy, not perfect. To be human in this fallen world means to be flawed and subject to infirmities, but if we commit ourselves totally to God and strive to do His will in all things, His grace is sufficient to make up for whatever is lacking. The beauty of the Church consists in the fact that God takes imperfect sinners such as you and I and weaves us all together into a marvelous tapestry. While each detail is flawed in some way, the overall effect is without blemish.

How boring the world would be if we were all manufactured according to the same exact specifications, perfect and flawless in a technical sense but devoid of the living breath of the Spirit! The Church is an organism of unique persons created in God's image, not a mere collection of individual cogs in some sort of vast cosmic machine. What this means is that we must love one another with the very love of God, not despite our differences, but precisely because of them. At the core of every human person lies hidden a profound mystery known only to God. By love we can touch the fringes of this mystery, but we can never penetrate it completely. We can only marvel and show profound reverence towards God's handiwork--both in ourselves and in others--while striving to be made worthy of the gift of life God has so graciously bestowed upon us.

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