By Father Ronald Check
God loves us infinitely. He knows our strengths and our gifts. He knows our weaknesses and our failures. He knows what makes us happy and what brings us sadness. He knows what lifts up our spirits and He knows what humbles us. He knows everything that there is to know and with such great love. He has even numbered the hairs of our heads (cf. Matt. 10:30).
Knowing sufficiently who we are, He calls us and wants us to follow Him and to walk with Him. And yet so often we are afraid to trust Him. There is an old saying, “The will of God will never take you where the grace of God cannot keep you.”
He knows what we need and He is always there to provide exactly what is necessary. One day St. Paul, after many hardships, was praying to the Lord and asking him to take away his suffering, but the Lord’s response was, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9).
Last weekend the Holy Father created 24 new cardinals. One of the new cardinals addressed his Holiness saying, “We recognize with trepidation our limitations, and in the face of the awareness of the great dignity with which we are covered, but that we are called to witness with our lives.” They recognize that they have limitations and weaknesses, but then they move forward, continuing to trust in God’s grace.
The Lord knows their limitations and He knows ours as well. What does all of this mean? We all have our different vocations and no matter what place we hold the Lord Jesus has called each one of us personally to fulfill the duties of our specific vocation and for a specific purpose. He calls us to be faithful no matter what. This is not just the case for priests and religious. Everyone is called to be faithful.
One of the reasons we honor the saints is that they trusted, even when things looked impossible, they turned to the Lord and entrusted themselves into His hands, knowing that He would provide for them. We may sometimes feel as if we do not have what it takes or that our limitations make things impossible to accomplish, but the Lord Jesus says, “Take courage.” (John 16:33)
God has called us to a specific vocation, knowing everything there is to know about us. May we always trust His loving providence. May we always trust His wisdom, He who not only gives us what we need to accomplish His will, but who also promises to remain with us always (cf. Matt. 28:20).
May no temptation ever pull us away. May no doubt keep us from believing that when we give everything to Christ we find true happiness. We all have our struggles along the way, but let us remember that His grace is sufficient. Amen.
Father Ronald Check is a Philadelphia priest studying in Rome.