“My grace is sufficient…” 1 Corinthians 12:9
This was the first piece of Scripture I saw this morning as I belatedly turned the wall calendar from June to July.
Low and behold, it was also the same Scriptural quote for the first of today’s reflections from the Laudate for this week’s Mass readings.
This is what I have seen called God-incidence. The Lord is trying to tell me something if I will but listen.
I could not have heard this message on the 4th day of this challenge. I literally had a headache from sleeping so little the night before as I tried to reconcile two realities that had collided.
The Fisherman -of whom I have previously written- is real. But he will never be real for me.
I have discovered the identity of the man being used by the Fisherman in the many pictures he sent me – including pictures that were supposed to be from his childhood, of his family, of his supposedly dead wife.
There is a real man with a real family and a very alive wife out there. His is the face that was in the imaginings of the life I would share with the Fisherman.
His was the face I that I had so immediately loved, the hands I studied in the photos, the dogs I imagined us walking together once he returned from the Fisherman’s oversees project.
Normally I do not fall prey to scammers. And at first I resisted this one. But I was so drawn to him from the moment I saw his photo on the dating web site, so taken in by the early intimacy of sharing photos of ourselves as children and the shared Catholicity, that I went back knowing I was taking a chance he might not be who he said.
What I didn’t bargain for was finding the “real” man in the pictures, discovering his identity and life and how that would also crush my heart; how discordant all my feelings would become.
What it would feel like to share a few texts in Messenger with him.
St. Paul would understand what I have been feeling. In the Mass Second Reading from Second Corinthians he speaks of his own “thorn in the flesh.”
My thorn, my affliction, with which I have struggled since I was 18, is the thorn of the romantic feelings in my heart I always seem to hold for the people most wrong for me.
Then I saw those words on my calendar this morning, and had them repeated to me in reflection of Scripture.
And I know God is telling me He is my sufficiency and will see me through this ordeal of mind, body, heart and spirit.
I pray that like Paul, I will learn to be “content” with my inherent weakness towards the romantic side of love.
Because whatever else it may have cost me in this life, to be able to love is a weakness that ironically is my greatest strength. “…for power is made perfect in weakness,” Paul wrote.
And I know this because Paul himself also said: “So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”