WHENEVER we come face to face with our limitations or our
defects, mistakes, falls, etc., something that we could expect to be a
usual occurrence in our life, given our weakened human condition,
let’s be quick to assume the attitude once expressed by St. Paul.
Let’s not waste time lamenting or feeling sad because of them.
“Three times I besought the Lord about this, that it (what
St. Paul termed as a thorn in the flesh) should leave me. But he said
to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect
in weakness,’” he said.
Then he concluded: “I will all the more gladly boast of my
weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of
Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships,
persecutions and calamities; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2
Cor 12 ,8-10)
Our weaknesses, our limitations and mistakes should not
hold us hostage for long, keeping us in the state of sadness,
depression and even despair. They can be very good occasions to
attract the attention, the mercy and the help of God.
Let’s remember Christ telling us that “those who are well
have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to
call the righteous, but sinners.” (Mk 2,17) What consoling words of
Christ which he acted out a number of times!
He fraternized with tax collectors and others considered
as public sinners of his time. He was merciful with the woman caught
in adultery. He chose as his apostles people who were clearly with
defects though they also had good qualities.
As to men’s limitations, he reassures us not to worry
about them. What we cannot do, he can always do. This was shown in
that miraculous catch of fish, when Peter at first said, upon being
told to go to the deep and lower the nets for a catch, that he was
fishing the whole night before and caught nothing.
The same when Christ told the apostles to feed the crowd
with a few loaves of bread and fish. What could such amount of bread
and fish do with so many people, they asked. But in the end, not only
were the crowd fully satisfied. There was an excess of the few that
was given out.
We should not worry so much about limitations. We have to
train our feelings and our emotions to remain calm and hopeful when we
experience the burden of our incapacities. And let’s be quick to
assume that Pauline advice about how to handle our limitations and
In fact, we can take advantage of our weaknesses and
limitations to attract God’s attention, mercy and tremendous help that
would really astound us. If we are humble enough to acknowledge our
limitations and just go to Christ as soon as we can, we can always be
sure that God helps us beyond our expectation and imagination.
This does not mean that we have to take our limitations,
weaknesses, failures and sins lightly. We have to try to avoid them as
much as we can, fight them and atone for them. But we should not
forget the other side that would make all these a magnet for God’s
mercy and grace. “Where sin has abounded, his grace has abounded even
more.” (Rom 5,20)