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Little Rock Connections: The Good News for Today
March 2018

Romancing the Word
Read 2 Cor12:1-10


Macrina Wiederkehr, OSB

My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness. (2 Cor 12:9)

These are strange and beautiful words. I often find myself returning to this holy riddle as I try to make sense of the grace that slips into my life in moments of desolation. Where does the gift of this mysterious grace come from? What is the reason for the sudden uplifting of my dejected spirit?

“Turn your interruptions into opportunities” Henri Nouwen writes, and I wonder. Does God see the interruption of my desolate spirit and decide to turn it into a divine opportunity? Caught off guard in a moment of misery and weakness, I find my broken heart opening to the beautiful presence of the Holy One who has always offered hospitality to my powerlessness.

It is best that I not over-analyze how the grace of God comes into my life. My task is to receive it with joy and faith and let it do its work in my life.

In praying the Scriptures it can be helpful to view other translations or even my own paraphrase that rises out of my meditation on the words of the Scripture text. Let’s look at the words chosen as the theme for this reflection: “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor 12:9).

Listed below are other versions of this text. Use these for your prayer. Let the words become a mantra that you repeat again and again. The repetition can serve as a way of getting the message to the core of your heart. It is good to remember that Christ reigns in our weakness and in our strength.

My grace is enough for you, for in weakness power reaches perfection.
(New American Bible)

My grace suffices for you, for power matures in weakness.
(Weymouth New Testament) 

My grace is enough for you, for my power is made complete in what is feeble.
(Bible in Basic English) 

My grace is enough for you; my power is at its best in weakness. 
(Jerusalem Bible) 

My grace is all you need; power is most fully seen in weakness.
(New English Bible)

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfectly evident in your weakness.
(Kliest and Lilly translation)

My grace is enough for you; my power in you blossoms when you are vulnerable.
(My paraphrase)

I am particularly fond of the paraphrase that grew out of an intense hour of prayer.  I was reminded of Paul’s vulnerability as well as my own. In a life of prayer, our vulnerability holds more promise than our resistance. Christ’s power in us does, indeed, blossom when we stop guarding our vulnerability. We all have a thorn in our flesh—something that prevents us from being our best self. Yet grace enters in when we become aware that God can do wonders when we accept the thorn as part of the mosaic of our life. In praying with this text it is obvious that Paul is allowing and even inviting the thorn in his flesh to become his teacher. He is no longer warring against “the thorn” but embracing it as a part of the truth of his life.

Draw up from the archives of your life a moment of vulnerability. Pause now ─ take time to do this. How did that moment become a teacher for you, or did it become a teacher? What did you learn? Even if you were not able to experience God’s presence in that particular moment of pain, are you able to look back now and recognize a Presence waiting behind the curtain of your gloom? 

Therefore I am content with weakness for when I am weak, then I am strong.  2 Cor 12:10

These words have supported me through various moments of denial. I detest feeling powerless. I like, even less, being powerless or feeling vulnerable. It has been difficult for me to accept the truth that I still try to manage things on my own. The first step of the twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous could be my prayer of confession for the rest of my life.

I admit that I am powerless…and that my life has become unmanageable.

And so I begin to own the truth that my powerlessness is a rich source of nourishment precisely because it awakens me. It shows me that I cannot live compassionately and joyfully when I try to live by my own homemade gospel: the false “good news” that I can manage everything by myself. As I learn to lift Power out of my powerlessness I become aware of whose power it is and I am brought face to face with the One who has always been my power. I embrace my vulnerability and the thorn in my flesh begins to blossom.

Your next Word to romance: Luke 5:17-26

Macrina Wiederkehr, OSB, has honed her craft as a writer and retreat director during her years of monastic life at St. Scholastica Monastery in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Learn more about her books and retreat offerings at her website:


Bible Institute We would love to welcome you to Little Rock for our annual Bible Institute, this year scheduled for June 15-17. Brother John Barker, OFM, a professor from Catholic Theological Union will help us explore what the Old Testament has to offer to Christians. Why is it important to us? How are we to treasure its gifts? Please visit our website to download the brochure and make your plans to register and come our way.

Come visit with us at the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress March 16-18 in Anaheim, California. We are exhibiting in booth #101 and would love the opportunity to talk with you, hear about your needs, and let you know what’s happening.

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