“When I am weak, then I am strong.”

“That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10)

JesusOffersYouACrossIn our struggle to be faithful Catholics, it is often our very own weaknesses and failings that bring us down. We see how our good intentions to follow the Commandments, stand up boldly for God’s Divine Laws in a hostile world, obey our elders and our Church’s teachings, be faithful to a regular prayer life, love our ‘enemies’, and so forth, often crumble and topple. We repent, go to Confession, start all over again with a firm purpose of amendment, and sometimes before even a day or two have passed by we fall into the same old sins, cowardliness and bad habits.

Here is where our Old Enemy will take advantage. Immediately we show signs of despair and weakening at our constant lack of success to be true to our good intentions, he will dive in and fill our thoughts of how utterly weak and hopeless we are, how unpractical it is to wish to ‘pick up our cross and follow Christ’ to Calvary – so really, quite honestly why bother? Why not sit back and relax, simply going with the tide of ‘tolerance’, ‘anything goes’, ‘take life easy’ approach around us? So come on; this sort of life would make us oh so much happier, wouldn’t it? We can still be ‘good people’… just don’t stick your neck out; just be content to do the minimum.

At one time or other I believe we have all been assailed by these temptations – some perhaps many times. It is an old ploy of Satan to turn us all into “Laodicean Catholics“, harmless and useless in the battle being waged for souls. Yet in the end such lukewarm souls will be “spat out” from the Mouth of God  we are told – (Rev. 3:16).

An easy life, avoiding confrontations and difficulties is not the path that leads to Heaven. At these ‘crossroads’ of our lives challenging us all in these times, let us pick up our ‘cross’ of our own fears and limitations, weaknesses and sins, and choose the uphill, narrow path together with all those saints and martyrs who have gone before us. It will be a rocky path, but the right one, and we may be sure that we shall have the whole of Heaven at our side to help us on our way.

Below are a few quotes from saints and a wise Pope to give us some encouragement.

“I do not wish the soul to consider her sins, either in general or in particular, without also remembering the Blood and the broadness of My mercy, for fear that otherwise she should be brought to confusion. And together with confusion would come the devil, who has caused it, under colour of contrition and displeasure of sin, and so she would arrive at eternal damnation, not only on account of her confusion, but also through the despair which would come to her, because she did not seize the arm of My mercy.” (Conversations of Our Lord with St. Catherine Of Siena)

“When a person commits a fault, God certainly wishes him to humble himself, to be sorry for his sin, and to purpose never to fall into it again; but he does not wish him to be indignant with himself, and give way to trouble and agitation of mind; for, while the soul is agitated, a man is incapable of doing good.” (St Alphonsus Liguori)

“It is the way of the enemy to weaken and lose heart, his temptations taking flight, when the person who is exercising himself in spiritual things opposes a bold front against the temptations of the enemy, doing diametrically the opposite. And on the contrary, if the person who is exercising himself commences to have fear and lose heart in suffering the temptations, there is no beast so wild on the face of the earth as the enemy of human nature in following out his damnable intention with so great malice.” (St. Ignatius of Loyola) 

“Jesus is nailed to the cross…Let us halt before this image of pain, before the suffering Son of God. Let us look upon him at time of presumptuousness and pleasure, in order to learn to respect limits and to see the superficiality of all merely material goods. Let us look upon him at times of trial and tribulation and realise that it is then that we are closest to God. Let us nail ourselves to him, resisting the temptation to stand apart or to join others in mocking him.” (Pope Benedict XVI)

Prayer to the Holy Spirit

“O Holy Spirit
soul of my soul
I adore you.
strengthen and console me.
Tell me what I ought to do
and command me to do it.
I promise to submit to everything
that you ask of me
and to accept all
that you allow to happen to me.
Just show me what is your will.”

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20 Responses to “When I am weak, then I am strong.”

  1. toadspittle says:

    “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties…”
    Oh, really? I don’t see much delight taken regarding insults, persecution and the like on CP&S, for Christ’s sake.
    We must try harder!

  2. johnhenrycn says:

    “I don’t see much delight taken regarding insults, persecution and the like on CP&S…

    But we do delight in insults, Toad, when you and others deserve them, which is why I’m so fretful when you take one of your brief sabbaticals, thus depriving me of opportunities for posting such. I never give you “thumbs down” votes like others do (the lazy man’s way) but let me say this: you have not, for a long time, exercised my debating skills. Is that deprivation one that you also suffer when it comes to reading my offerings? Please be brutally honest.

  3. johnhenrycn says:

    Toad, your contributions to this blog oftimes remind me of the beautiful Where Is Your Heart? signature song from Moulin Rouge (1952). And here’s said location at 86 boulevard de Clichy 😉

  4. johnhenrycn says:

    “For a moment Robert imagined a Place Pigalle existence with unknown associates, sordid pick-ups, afternoons spent in simple pleasures, in that Paris in which the sunny brightness from the Boulevard de Clichy onwards did not seem the same…”

    Interesting that Saint Thérèse and Proust were contemporaries who both suffered from ill health although Proust lingered far longer, and also interesting to think about how they are remembered today. Saint Thérèse by hundreds of millions. Proust by hundreds of thousands.

  5. johnhenrycn says:

    Yes, St Thérèse v. Proust … What would Saint “Read Only What Is Good To Read” Benedict say about the subliminal (?) messages in Proust, or the more flagrantly obvious ones in Boccaccio? Does anyone here think that Catholics should refuse to have their books (under lock and key, of course) in their homes?

  6. johnhenrycn says:

    …photo taken 10 years before Proust memorialized that place, but you wouldn’t know that, so I don’t know why I feel the need to mention that.

  7. toadspittle says:

    They are not “..sabbaticals,” I take, JH. I’m banned and censored at The Moderators’ whim, unlike Proust and you. Quite right, too. Some skins round here are thinner than mine, or yours. And I don’t mind being put on the Index. Bit of a compliment, in fact.
    …”Piel de sapo,” is notoriously tough. But tender and delicious inside.

  8. kathleen says:

    Don’t you Toad? In spite of all the “insults” and “persecutions” we take from you with such long-suffering, patient delight? 😉
    Well, we must indeed “try harder” then.

  9. toadspittle says:

    Can a grown up tell JH that Toad’s not on sabbatical – just censored?

  10. GC says:

    Truth to tell, dear Toad, you are not being censored, but your comments are being withheld before publication . Nobody is taking a dirty great black pen to you, although at times one suspects that is what you are challenging us to do. All blogues have their aims.

    By all means, carry on.

  11. toadspittle says:

    Not so, GC. Several of my comments in the last few have simply been vaporised. Well, that’s CP&S’s prerogative. I’m still persevering so far, but persevering is becoming pointless, it seems.
    You should check with your chums to see if “…a dirty great big black pen” is being taken to me. I assume they will be honest. (Though why I should assume that, I don’t know.)
    Let’s see what happens to this one, anyway.

  12. GC says:

    Dear Toad, I don’t presume to speak for all of the CP&S team, but I think they will agree that the question is one of “balance” on the blogue (that’s a rabit word, I think).

    You, being a professional writer of so many years, do easily overwhelm with your many contributions. It begins to look like “anything but CP&S”. As I said, it’s a matter of keeping to the aims of the blog.

    This is not necessarily a Catholic apologetics blog. It never claimed to be, but there are such things and this ain’t one. Nevertheless your views do often stimulate discussion, which can be quite consonant with the general aims of CP&S. Besides, Mr Fisher seems very fond of you and Michael is not at all averse to answering your points.

    That’s about as much as I can say, and I might have already overstepped my authority. If so, I will take any brickbats. But it’s really a question of maintaining balance on the blog, not of censoring loveless toads.

    So do carry on.

  13. johnhenrycn says:

    Cui bono, Toe? Your dogs would love you to be banned as they’d get far more cuddles and walkies; so my theory is they’ve figured out your password and are posting odious comments guaranteeing your eventually permanent exile. Ockham’s Razor, what?

    How many dogs do you own and what breeds are they and what are their names? As for the last question, surely not “Dago” or “Spic”? I owned a rottweiler called “Amos” once. If I’d bought his brother, I was thinking of “Andy”, but maybe it’s just as well that I didn’t.

  14. toadspittle says:

    Thank you, GC. And I take the point. I’m not complaining about what’s happening. No reason to.

    JH – Five dogs, Two greyhounds Lulu and Harry, a Breton Spaniel Tim, a sort of small terrier Rosie, and a mutt Ruby. All abandoned, originally. Two cats Moe and Len, and a canary, Sid, and seven chickens known collectively as the Gladyses.
    Off topic and harmless, so ought not to get great big blue-penciled.

  15. GC says:

    JH, I should probably put this in the off topic bin. But … did you know that in Hindu scriptures dogs are sometimes incarnations of the gods? The little gods, as I think Toad himself once suggested. See it on off topic. A lesson in antipodean dialectology too.

    The little gods, but no real dogs in heaven.

  16. GC says:

    Dear Toad, I gather you had to separate yourself from your great pyrennese mastiff? Sad indeed.

    I noticed you had put some comments into the great off topic bin recently. They don’t show up in the “recent comments” roll, just in case you were referring earlier to your “vaporised” comments.

    Must ask Brother Burrito if off topic bin comments should also show up in “recent comments”.

  17. johnhenrycn says:

    I reply in the proper place 😉

  18. Brother Burrito says:

    “Off topic” comments cannot currently appear in the “recent comments” list, but I am looking into it. Bear with me.

  19. GC says:

    Thanks, Brother B. Probably makes sense? 🙂

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