COVID-19 has taught us some important lessons, and surely one of them is the fact of our human frailty and vulnerability. We’ve had to acknowledge that some things—like a pandemic—are beyond our control. This lesson may have been especially painful for us Americans who pride ourselves on rugged individualism, thinking we can “go it alone” without needing help from others. Hopefully we’ve learned that, when we face up to our vulnerability, we are freed to accept the help we need from God, family, and friends. Regardless of whether our frailty is biological, intellectual, spiritual, or moral, admitting our dependence and readiness to receive help is the necessary first step to meeting our needs. In the words of an old song, “People who need people are the luckiest people in the world.” In St. Paul’s experience, “When I am weak, then I am strong,” because God’s “power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor 12:9–10).
By Delores Dufner, OSB