Do you have some areas of sinfulness in your life that keep nagging at you? Are there areas of weakness in your life that no matter how many times you have prayed to God asking Him to remove these imperfections, they remain? Can you relate to Paul, when he spoke of a thorn in the flesh that constantly irritated him? Is it possible that God allows us to have these struggles as a path to building a stronger relationship with Him? I invite you to read more…
The Bible makes it clear that all people are sinners (Romans 3:23). For most Christians, their sinful nature is a source or continual consternation. The battle against persistent recurring sin can be daunting and wearying. For many Christians, their inability to break free from sinful tendencies, leads to self-loathing. Too often, some Christians set their sights on perfection rather than continual improvement, and anything short of perfection leaves them feeling like utter failures. Does this sound familiar to you?
Maybe we are trying to save ourselves rather than relying on Jesus Christ who has already saved us. God proved His love for us by sending His son to die for us, knowing full well that we were sinners (Romans 5:8). Maybe, just maybe, these persistent sins keep us grounded. Maybe they remind us of just how dependent we are on God’s mercy and forgiveness. Maybe, that’s why God doesn’t take these thorns away.
Saint Francis DeSales (1567-1610), once wrote this: “God wants your misery to be the throne of His mercy. He desires that your powerlessness be the seat of His omnipotence.” Pope Francis once stated: “The place where my encounter with the mercy of Jesus takes place is my sin.”
In Romans 6:1-11, Paul posed the question: “Shall we persist in sin that grace may abound?” He was quick to answer his own question with a resounding NO! The statements above by Francis DeSales and Pope Francis are not inconsistent with Paul’s admonition against continually sinning. No, to the contrary, they simply recognize the reality of our weakness and continual need for God’s grace.
I can’t speak for you, but I must attest that despite my desire to please God and follow His teachings, my frail human nature and weaknesses seem to constantly get in my way. I would have hoped that as I grew older I would get stronger and fall less often, but that just doesn’t seem to be the case for me. What about with you? My spirit is willing but my flesh is weak. Do you relate to this in your own life?
So what can we do? We can and must try our best, and once we do, we must rely on God and His mercy for the times we fall short. When we fall, we must get up, even if we have to do it over and over and over again. We need to repent and keep trying. God knows our inner most desire to please Him.
The reality is this: God is always there for us, He is always ready to forgive us if we just ask Him to. God’s love for us is unconditional. We must learn to love ourselves as God loves us. His grace is constantly there for us. We must learn patience with our imperfections. These imperfections just might be the Throne of Mercy on which God sits in our life.
Sure we should always be striving to live in a way that pleases God, but we must acknowledge that we can’t get there on our own. Paul sums it up best in Romans 7:24-25 when he states: “Miserable one that I am! Who will deliver me from this mortal body? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Therefore, I myself, with my mind, serve the law of God but, with my flesh, the law of sin.”
Heavenly Father, I come to you with the words of the tax collector: “Have mercy on me a sinner.” When I am weak you are strong. Thank you for your unending love for me, amen!
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A PRAYER FOR TIMES OF TRIBULATION
O Lord, hear my cry pouring out from a troubled heart. The sorrow which clutches at my soul has driven me to You my protector, my True Friend in time of need. You know, my God, all my failings, my faults and my sins as well as the torment gripping my soul. My greatest sorrow should be for my disregard of Your holy commandments in the past, and I sincerely hope that you will grant me the grace of true contrition. O my Savior, hide not Your Face from me in this tribulation, let the light of Your Countenance shine upon me that I may be illuminated by Its love. If it be Your will, lighten this burden from me, yet should it be a means of my salvation, help me, help me O Lord, to carry this cross, for alone I can do nothing. Radiate Your love upon Your prodigal child O Lord, this beggar who knocks at Your door seeking shelter in Your Sacred Heart; this once proud earthen vessel made of clay seeks You, O Christ, and in a newly found faith, firmly believes that you will receive him in Your limitless Love and Mercy. Amen
Click here for a printable version of this prayer.
I do not know the author of this prayer and thus i cannot attribute it to anyone
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