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Fr Billy Swan

In the Second Reading at Mass this weekend, St Paul talks about his ‘thorn in the flesh’. He does not tell us what this is but it does refer to some sort of weakness, wound or imperfection that marked his soul. For a long time, Paul prayed that God would take that imperfection away. But then he came to the stunning realization God had placed that thorn there in the first place. Why? To ‘stop me getting too proud’. Then the Lord says to him: ‘My grace is enough for you…for when I am weak, then I am strong’. For Paul, Christ took him on a journey from trying to be perfect to realizing his own imperfection.

Living a spirituality of imperfection begins with the recognition that trying to be perfect is like playing God. It is only by ceasing to play God, by coming to terms with errors and shortcomings and by accepting our wounds and weaknesses, can we find the peace that we long for and allow God to love us in that imperfection. We are all on the same journey as St Paul. For when we are in touch with our imperfection then we know our need for him and his love. Therein lies the key to a living and daily friendship with God.


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