The problem with difficulties is the fact they are difficult. The problem with weakness is that we want to be strong. The problem with strength is that our strength often fails. So what is a human to do?
2 Corinthians 12:8-10 (Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition)
8 Three times I besought the Lord about this, that it should leave me; 9 but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities; for when I am weak, then I am strong. ~St. Paul the ApostleThe solution to the problem? The weakness? The failure? (Not to mention persecutions and calamities?) But the question I raised was, "What is a human to do?" We recognize our frailty (I would even go so far to say that we BATHE in our own recognition of our frailty) however, we rarely actually consider our frailty in the right view...the right, "light." What do I mean?
How do we most often "deal" with our weaknesses and frailty? Here are some common approaches:
1) We deny it (Denial)
"What? What weakness? I'm not weak...who said I was weak? They're actually the ones who aren't seeing me correctly...I'm not weak...Never have been...I'm a strong person...I have true grit and absolute determination...It's a set-back...It's an illusion...It's not me...It's never me!"
2) We wrongly "embrace it" (Arrogance)
"I'm only human...Absolutely perfect as I am...Faults and all...Take me or leave me...I wouldn't change a thing."
3) We blame others (Accusation)
"If they weren't so_________I would be stronger...If that person would only_________then I could do what I should...They are the source of my problems, difficulties...Life would be better if only they wouldn't_________! (Insert necessary words in the blanks)
4) We ignore it (Ignorance)
"On and on I go...On to the next thing...The next thing...The next thing...I will not examine my life...It's too much trouble...I have enough money...I have enough prestige...I am doing well!"
5) We unnecessarily put our struggles upon others (Laziness)
"Can't you do this for me?...Why don't you help me?...Serve me?...Ask not what I can do for you but what you can do for me...I need you or else I can't go on...I give up unless you do this, that and the other thing..."
The above are 5 things and I'm sure there are hundreds more that could be considered. The point is to truly, rightly and honestly "embrace" our weakness we must turn our focus entirely to Our Lord, His Mother and the intercession of all the Saints and Angels. Just as St. Paul, we recognize, accept and avoid blaming others in situations of weakness ONLY IF we recognize that through all things Our Lord's GRACE shall overcome. And where Our Lord does not "solve" our problems we embrace them not so much AS PROBLEMS but as a means to the ULTIMATE SOLUTION which is our, in a word, SALVATION. We love others BECAUSE He first loved us.
When we deny our weakness we do not open ourselves to truth.
When we view our weakness as some kind of "badge of honor" we deceive ourselves and others.
When we blame others we confuse the real source and tremendous depth of our weakness.
When we ignore our weakness we never truly find any solid source of strength.
When we wrongly rely on other people as our ultimate "way out" of our weakness we can never really receive the mercy and grace Our Lord so very much desires to give us.
Consider St. Paul's approach:
He turns first to the Lord in search of a solution.
He listens not to himself but to what The Lord offers him.
He accepts what The Lord has to say.
He then rightly views his weakness rightly...as something meant to draw him still closer to The Lord.
He understands that he will receive power and should not rely on his own power.
He finds deep meaning and identifies with his sufferings with those of Christ...for the sake of Christ.
He sees rightly that his weakness is a means to an end, the ultimate end, which is Christ Himself.
I don't like to be weak, rejected, persecuted and cast aside. I don't like to be forgotten and improperly treated. I don't like being sick. I don't like having to deal with the weaknesses of others. Yet, when I relay on the GRACE of Our God...His Mercy...His means of sanctification of my soul and the souls of others...when I view the reality of pain and hardship in their proper light (that is the Light of Christ) I see that which is hidden from the false "powers that be" in our world. I can say, by God's grace, that when I am weak~then I am strong.
What about this approach in a nutshell: "When I recognize my inability to overcome anything by myself, I call upon God, He answers me and upholds my life...THEN I am strong."
How do we get there? Prayer. I simply need to remember to ask of the Lord and He will grant me what I need...and that which I do not need He will not give. St. Paul, pray for us.