Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Paradox of Christian Weakness

But the foolish things of the world God hath chosen, that he may confound the wise, and the weak things of the world God hath chosen, that he may confound the strong. (1 Corinthians 1:27)
The poor, the disabled, and the least of the earth are often the strongest witnesses to the Faith founded by Christ.
St. John Vianney was considered a fool by his superiors, yet he became the greatest parish priest in the history of the Catholic Church. St. Joan of Arc was a peasant girl, called by Christ to save France from an English invasion. Many of the apostles were simple fishermen, yet were chosen by Christ to be the very first bishops of the Catholic Church.
Even seemingly powerful Christian saints undergo humiliation and suffering. Louis IX of France was captured by Muslims. St. Elizabeth of Hungary was cast from her throne by her own family. 
Why would Christ allow so many of His followers to be poor and lowly? Surely, would not Christ reward His followers with worldly success and honor?
This seeming paradox becomes clearer when we recognize that Our Master, Christ, willingly suffered intense humiliation. God allowed Himself to be born in a stable, and even permitted His creatures, corrupted by sin, to kill Him with the torturous death of the cross. He who embraced suffering naturally blesses and makes fruitful the suffering of His followers.
It behooves us Christians to remember that we are strongest when Christ allows us to be brought low, and joyful acceptance of suffering is the great power and mystery of Christianity. Truly can we say with the Blessed Mother: “He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly.” We who suffer are beloved of God, and can do incredible things for His glory.

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