Bishop Irenei of London and Western Europe
It is easy to hear God’s words – My strength is made perfect in weakness – and take them to mean simply that when our strength is depleted, His manifests itself. That when we have no more power to carry on, God sustains us. These things are, of course, true, and they are beautiful and important; but they are not the real message of the Lord’s words to His Apostle.
What the Lord opens to St. Paul is a deeper revelation: that in order for God’s power to be made perfect in a man, the man must become weak. He must be rid of the “strength” that resides in his flesh and his will, and learn to be emptied of its illusive power. Then, in a life that is weakened of all its self-possessive fortitude, broken down into spiritual emptiness (often precisely through physical traits), the Lord fills the heart with a strength that at last has room to reside there.
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