It is the illusion of strength that separates me from life leaving me unconscious of the Divine Presence that is the source of true power.

Only as I accept the “fundamental reality” of my weakness do I become able

To create with others relationships not based on power.

It is when I accept “my weaknesses,” that I can “accept those of others.” Then “I can bear them”.

The nativity enshrines poverty, weakness, and powerlessness as the wellspring of Christian faith. Nothing is more vulnerable than an infant. God embraced the vulnerability of the human condition by manifesting in this world as a newborn baby. God took upon himself the weakness of a child in order to be known by the human race as the God who is present in absolutely every circumstance.

It is through the total embrace of their poverty, weakness, and powerlessness that the obscure powerless monks of Tibhirine came to shine a light that has now been seen around the world.

Am I willing to accept that my weakness is not in fact an obstacle to being the person I was created to be? Can I embrace the possibility that my powerlessness may be precisely the path towards becoming more fully a manifestation of love in this world?

Christian Chessel identifies the paradox of power when he writes that acknowledging my weakness requires great courage and unleashes the voice of “justice and truth.” I am only able to authentically “denounce the temptation of force and power” when I have fully faced and denounced that “temptation” in myself.

As long as I deny my own weakness and poverty, I will only shout with a rancorous voice. Until I accept my own powerlessness, I will only do violence to those by whom I feel threatened or who I perceive to be threatening others. The prophetic voice speaks from an awareness of poverty not a demand for power.

I will possess “the strength of spirit” to speak truth, to the degree that I stay “rooted in the mystery of Easter.” Through the powerlessness of an infant, the abandonment of the cross, and the loving sacrifice of seven monks, the light of Christ becomes evident in the world.

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