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We Are Not The Sum Of Our Failures


Last updated on December 18, 2020


 Dear Lord, my God, I was reading St. John of Avila in Magnificat, “ Rather, we must thank God, the supreme and omnipotent Good, who will never permit any evil except to bring good from it by a higher means.”  I felt how you were creating, somehow, something more beautiful and good than what you could have made had my marriage not come to such failure. 

That failure is so contrary to what your plan for marriage and family is.  But your plan for us is not bound by what should be, nor is your plan a majestic perfection of an earthly way of life, however perfectly it’s lived within your Law.  If this were so, our failures would yield our end. 

  These moments of Grace, lift the burden of my failure, and bring my thoughts toward St. John Paul II who told us, 

We are not the sum of our failures; we are the sum of the Father’s love for us and the real capacity to become the image of His Son.” 

I remember the joy of feeling your arm around me when I read his words during spiritual reading at St Ben’s one Thursday in 2005.  Through prayer that real capacity to become his image is filled so we have something to give, especially to those we’ve hurt.  Through prayer, His image becomes brighter, allowing Him to draw others to himself. 

You’ve been putting the pieces together in your way, not in the way I wanted, nor by the beauty of the Church’s teaching on marriage and family.  You could have done that too, but I cannot comprehend your wisdom and the ways you intervene.  I’m trying to surrender and let you take care of it, for you are creating an everlasting home for all who trust in You.  St. John Chrysostom said,

  “All things will certainly turn out, whether in this life or the life to come.  In every circumstance, yield to the incomprehensibility of God’s providence. 

Yes, Lord, it is incomprehensible to me what you are doing. Help me yield more and more, O lord.

Sometimes I’m tempted to think that my family is lost because of my sins, but placing my sorrow and failure in your Sacred Heart allows you to do wonders.  St. Paul reminds me that, “God now at work in us can do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine.” (Eph 3:20-21)

You keep rooting and watering this truth in my heart which is so often unaware of how you transform human wreckage into a masterpiece of your love and mercy.  Help me to trust in this truth which reflects the supreme Truth of what we celebrate liturgically year-round:  You came as the Son of God to redeem us and raise us to a new creation that is far more glorious than the original.