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My grace is enough for you… yes, you!

My grace is enough for you… yes, you!

We celebrated the conversion of that amazing apostle Paul the other day and I was struck by the second Antiphon for Morning Prayer:

 ‘My grace is enough for you, Paul; my power is made perfect in weakness.’

This is taken from the Lord’s response to Paul (in 2 Cor 12) when he pleaded with the Lord to take from him ‘a thorn in the flesh’, which he had been given to stop him getting too proud.  Remembering those words must have been very comforting for Paul when he was experiencing his extreme hardships and setbacks.  As Paul explains, those words of the Lord’s enabled him to endure cheerfully the ‘insults, hardships, persecutions, and the agonies I go through for Christ’s sake.  For it is when I am weak that I am strong’.  

It was the use of the Apostle’s name, however, that made that Antiphon really stand out for me.  This insertion of Paul’s name into the biblical quotation really brought home to me the fact that God was speaking to him personally, individually.   We know, but perhaps often forget, that Christ speaks to us personally through the scriptures.  Inserting ourselves into the text as we read (something which we have explored in greater depth here) can help us to listen more actively to the scriptures.  And remembering that God calls us by name each and every time we read the scriptures will help us respond to His call.

Do not be afraid, for I have redeemed you;

I have called you by your name, you are mine.

Isaiah 43:1

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