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A reading from the second Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians 2 Cor 12:1-10

Brothers and sisters: I must boast; not that it is profitable, but I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. I know a man in Christ who, fourteen years ago (whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows), was caught up to the third heaven. And I know that this man (whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows) was caught up into Paradise and heard ineffable things, which no one may utter. About this man I will boast, but about myself I will not boast, except about my weaknesses. Although if I should wish to boast, I would not be foolish, for I would be telling the truth. But I refrain, so that no one may think more of me than what he sees in me or hears from me because of the abundance of the revelations. Therefore, that I might not become too elated, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, an angel of Satan, to beat me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me, but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me. Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong.


St Paul considered himself nothing to boast about except for his weaknesses. He states that he had a thorn in the flesh and asked three times for God to clear him of this. His answer was, " My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness."

Are we content with weakness, insults, hardships, persecutions and constraints for the sake of Christ? Are we content with our illnesses, our arthritis, our diminishing physical prowess, or our simplicity? Do we feel full fed only by the grace of God?

Jesus searches for the weak or the poor in spirit and gives them good with overflowing riches which no man can compare or improve.

Saint Romuald (951-1027) was such a soul who lived in Italy. He was born into aristocracy and wealth. In his youth he knew nothing of restraint or religious devotion. When he was 20 years of age, he witnessed his father kill a relative over a dispute over property. Disgusted over this he went into a monastery and did 40 days of penance for his father. Finding the need for solitary prayer, he founded a hermitage. His father followed his son's example and likewise repented and entered a monastery. With the benefit of a land grant he was able to build several hermits' cells and eventual monastery. The community life was helped with the following "Brief Rule".

“Sit in your cell as in paradise. Put the whole world behind you and forget it. Watch your thoughts like a good fisherman watching for fish. The path you must follow is in the Psalms – never leave it.”

“If you have just come to the monastery, and in spite of your good will you cannot accomplish what you want, take every opportunity you can to sing the Psalms in your heart and to understand them with your mind. And if your mind wanders as you read, do not give up; hurry back and apply your mind to the words once more.”

“Realize above all that you are in God’s presence, and stand there with the attitude of one who stands before the emperor. Empty yourself completely and sit waiting, content with the grace of God, like the chick who tastes nothing and eats nothing but what his mother brings him.” (St Romuald quotes)

St. Romuald of Ravenna died in his monastic cell on June 19, 1027. Pope Gregory XIII canonized him in 1582.

God Bless You


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