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The Strength in Vulnerability

Scripture: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

John 3:16

Music: "Stay With Me" Taize

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Message: The Strength in Vulnerability

This season is an invitation to open ourselves up to vulnerability. Vulnerability derives from the Latin verb "vulnerare", meaning "to wound." As we reflect on what we have lived, and what may come, there certainly can be fear of pain, of being wounded. Yet vulnerability is the essence of human life. Without it, we cannot love deeply. It pierces our desire for security, for the known. It exposes us to emotional risk - and yet what is meaningful in our lives that does not elicit emotion? With every step we have the opportunity to blossom in ways unknown. Vulnerability can bring us strength as we experience our unfolding lives.

Let us walk through this week of sorrow, rebirth, and reawakening with open hearts.

Let your heart stay open...

Fr. Richard Rohr has described vulnerability as "a Divine Condition"...

"We live in a finite world where everything is dying, shedding its strength. This is hard to accept, and all our lives we look for exceptions to it. We look for something certain, strong, undying, and infinite. Religion tells us that the “something” for which we search is God. But many of us envisioned God as strong, complete, and all-powerful—a God removed from suffering. In Jesus, God comes along to show us: “Even I suffer. Even I participate in the finiteness of this world.”.....

Pain and beauty constitute the two faces of God. On the one hand we are attracted to the unbelievable beauty of the divine reflected in the beauty of human beings and the natural world. On the other hand, brokenness and weakness also mysteriously pull us out of ourselves. We feel them both together.... Only vulnerability forces us beyond ourselves."

Adapted from Richard Rohr, Job and the Mystery of Suffering: Spiritual Reflections

“I do not believe that sheer suffering teaches. If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love, openness, and the willingness to remain vulnerable."

Anne Morrow Lindbergh

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