As a Franciscan Friar, I understand the struggle many men face today—walking around with a facade of having it all figured out while burying their true feelings and problems deep inside. The world, the flesh, and the devil try to convince us that vulnerability is a sign of weakness, leading many to hide their struggles, addictions, and need for others. But, my dear brothers, it is in vulnerability that we find true strength.
God tells us in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My power is made perfect in weakness.” To God, strength lies in acknowledging our weaknesses and embracing our vulnerability. Let us journey together along the path of true biblical strength, where we become vulnerable in three essential ways: to ourselves, to God, and to those around us.
The first step is becoming vulnerable with ourselves. It means acknowledging the truth within us, even if it’s uncomfortable. We often know deep down that certain problems or sins are holding us back, but we tend to sweep them under the rug. The enemy feeds us lies, blinding us to our issues. But by being honest with ourselves about our shortcomings, we can begin to move forward and seek healing.
Next, we must become vulnerable with God. We cannot overcome our struggles alone. Trying to handle our problems without God’s help often makes them bigger. Embracing our weaknesses humbles us, leading us to rely on God’s strength. Through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we find the perfect place to be vulnerable with God. In the confessional, we admit our faults and seek His grace to move forward.
Lastly, we need to become vulnerable with others, but not in a careless way. Find trustworthy men walking in virtue and holiness, confide in them, and hold each other accountable. Jesus sent the disciples out two by two, recognizing the strength in companionship. When we share our vulnerabilities with brothers who care, it forms a bond that empowers us to support each other in our journey.
Vulnerability is where change begins. By admitting our struggles to God, ourselves, and our peers, we strip the devil of his power over us. He can no longer use fear and lies to keep us trapped. Our virtual prison crumbles, and we experience the freedom and peace that God desires for us. Like clay in the hands of the Potter, we are molded into His grand design, embracing our true selves and living authentically.
So, my brothers, take a moment to reflect on what holds you back. Decide to be vulnerable with yourself and God in the confessional. Seek out brothers to share your struggles with. In embracing vulnerability, we follow St. Paul’s example, content with our weaknesses, knowing that in our weakness, we find true strength.
Let us break free from the shackles of hiding and become warriors of vulnerability. In our openness and honesty, we draw closer to God and to each other, forging a bond that empowers us to face life’s challenges with renewed strength and grace. Together, let us embrace true biblical strength in our vulnerability and experience the freedom to truly live as God intended.