|Apostle Paul in Prison-Rembrandt|
I relate to this passage. Many of you may also share my feelings. The image of a thorn in ones back is a perfect way to describe many of the struggles we all face. I struggle daily with my physical disabilities but the thorns that are more firmly fixed in my back involve my roll as daughter and mother. I find my times in confession centering around my lack of patience and love. I pray for more of both but I think that my struggles in these areas underscore for me how dependent I am on the Lord. Not only has my physical disability made me dependent on Jesus but my frequent stumbles and falls in my relationships with my family bring me to the foot of the cross praying for forgiveness and help. Seeing myself for what I am a weak person with strong tendencies to sin places me completely dependent on the Mercy of Jesus. I heard a priest once say in a homily that when you feel your spiritual life is doing the best is when you have to be the most careful. It is so easy to begin to become conceited as St. Paul says in the reading above. Our Lord in His wisdom gives us each a thorn in our back to keep us struggling and within that struggle we remain humble and completely dependent on God’s Mercy.
Our Lord: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”