Saturday, June 20, 2009

You Gotta Love St. Paul

If there was ever a man who could boast, it would be St. Paul. And he refused to do it.

While he would not boast in himself, he did boast frequently in the mercy and blessing of the Lord. He even thanked God for the thorn in his flesh, that thing that reminded him of his own weakness. Why? Because it kept him focused on God's goodness and not on Paul's goodness.

Do you know what your weakness is? Yeah. I do, too. And it's what I'm bringing to Mass today. I don't know if Our Lord will ever take it away (this side of eternity), but I know He always forgives. And in my weakness, God's strength is made manifest.

2 Corinthians 12:1-10
Must I go on boasting, though there is nothing to be gained by it? But I will move on to the visions and revelations I have had from the Lord. I know a man in Christ who, fourteen years ago, was caught up whether still in the body or out of the body, I do not know; God knows-right into the third heaven. I do know, however, that this same person – whether in the body or out of the body, I do not know; God knows – was caught up into paradise and heard things which must not and cannot be put into human language. I will boast about a man like that, but not about anything of my own except my weaknesses. If I should decide to boast, I should not be made to look foolish, because I should only be speaking the truth; but I am not going to, in case anyone should begin to think I am better than he can actually see and hear me to be.
In view of the extraordinary nature of these revelations, to stop me from getting too proud I was given a thorn in the flesh, an angel of Satan to beat me and stop me from getting too proud! About this thing, I have pleaded with the Lord three times for it to leave me, but he has said, ‘My grace is enough for you: my power is at its best in weakness.’ So I shall be very happy to make my weaknesses my special boast so that the power of Christ may stay over me, and that is why I am quite content with my weaknesses, and with insults, hardships, persecutions, and the agonies I go through for Christ’s sake. For it is when I am weak that I am strong.


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