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Vulnerability

“Vulnerability is something we instinctively reject because we are taught from kindergarten on that we must protect ourselves, control our behavior and our lives. But in becoming man for us, Christ made himself totally vulnerable for us in Jesus of Nazareth, and it is not possible to be a Christian while refusing to be vulnerable.” (Madeleine L'Engle)


“In times of suffering, the Church encourages us to fully experience our story and, as my good friend and teacher Dr. Albert Rossi would say, become a healing presence for others. Deepening our understanding of our faith relinquishes our need to tell each other empty words like “God won’t give you more than you can handle” and “He/she is in a better place.” Instead, it allows us to offer prayer, presence and understanding that strengthen our relationship to God and each other. If we put aside the pressure to speak, we recognize silence is not awkward; it is prayerful stillness, and we find words that are honest, loving and compassionate. We can honor and express gratitude for the joys, sorrows, fears and tears experienced in vulnerability while embracing hope in the resurrection and a will that is greater than our own. We each have a story of joys and sorrows and it is a holy gift to share it with others.” (Danielle Xanthos)


“Listening closely to the voices of those we encounter, while observing their faces and body language, provides clues to their spiritual and psychological condition, perhaps especially at this time of year when so many are so vulnerable. It may help us get in touch with our own sense of loneliness and our need to find fellowship and love among those who are closest to us. The most effective care and support we can offer others comes from the depths of our own experience, especially when it involves suffering. The invitation, then, is simply to care.” (Fr. John Breck)


“During His preaching ministry, when Christ saw the crowds gathered around Him, He had compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. We have Jesus Christ as our Chief Shepherd. As Chief Shepherd and Risen Lord, He leads us forward, toward God’s future. We follow Him in full awareness that we are fragile and vulnerable…the glory of Christ is contained in the earthen vessels of our humanity. The fragility and vulnerability of our human nature hold within them the presence of Christ and the power of God.” (Fr. Leonid Kishkovsky)


“…how can you open your heart without letting yourself be vulnerable? Peter wrote, “Above all, love each other deeply” (1 Peter 4:8). Above all ministries, business obligations, “Christian” stuff and evangelistic enterprises, we are to deeply, vulnerably love those next to us.” (Russell Willingham)


“Only Christianity says one of the attributes of God is courage. No other religion has a God who needed courage...Jesus could save us only by facing an agonizing death that had Him wrestling in sweat in the Garden of Gethsemane. He became mortal and vulnerable so that He could suffer, be betrayed and killed [for us]…An intimate relationship with Jesus always requires courage.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

“That’s the brilliance of Christ: His holiness increases our love for man. It never diminishes it through shallow self-righteousness. The holiness of Christ brings us closer to humanity: closer to our true beauty and fearsome darkness. Any talk of Christianity that displays a haughty distance toward the brokenness and vulnerability of humanity has nothing to do with Christ.” (Jonathan Jackson)

“Love is built through vulnerability. When you want to grow in your relationship with anyone—a friend, your spouse, your child—when you make yourself more vulnerable, that’s when love grows.” (Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis)

“Moments of awe are moments when we are the most vulnerable to grace. Without those moments, we are vulnerable to everything else.” (Ken Gire)

“I believe that a soul that has truly recognized its own murkiness is not vulnerable to a counterfeit light.” (Walter Hilton)

“Vulnerability is one of the most important and least understood parts of developing deep and intimate relationships…Jesus Christ shows us what vulnerability looks like and why it is so scary… Christ shows us the path of the Cross is the path of willing vulnerability.” (Christian Gonzalez)

“How, then, do we see Christ? We see Him through the eyes of faith, which are sharpened through the eyes of vulnerability. Make yourself in some way vulnerable to the Lord, whether it is in the spiritual intimacy of prayer, or the difficult task of forgiveness, the humility needed in the sacrament of confession, or in the selfless act of service to others. Make yourself vulnerable to the Lord and you will “see” Him and have the joy that the Disciples had when they saw the Lord.” (Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis)

“In the Ladder of Divine Ascent we hear: “Shame can only be healed by shame.” As difficult as this is for us, it is the place of atonement and exchange that Christ has set. I have been learning recently, however, that to speak of “bearing a little shame”… is overwhelming to some…Vulnerability, at its core, is nothing other than “bearing a little shame.” It is the willingness to be real, to be authentic with the risk that it entails. This is on the psychological level. There is a deeper level, though we cannot really go there without enduring the psychological first. God give us grace to be vulnerable in His presence, vulnerable enough to discover our true selves.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“The relationships that God gives us allow us to enter a process that leads to unity with Him and each other. Our God-given relationships with Church and family let us stretch and grow. They allow us to understand better. They allow us to desire God, to humble ourselves and to come to encounter Him, to forgive each other, and finally to accept that God accepts us. Because He loves us first, we come to love Him and do His will. Doing His will is our true nature, because, like God, we love and we give. It is only fear of not having enough love and being vulnerable to each other that prevent us from loving and giving as God lives and gives. Loving God and each other is what brings us into the union with God and each other which is ultimately our goal.” (Bishop John)

“One of the benefits of being honest and vulnerable with another person is that you have an opportunity to be accepted unconditionally for who you are. As a result, you will experience something of what God’s unconditional love for us is like through the relationship.” (Dick Purnell)


#ChristianGonzalez #FrStavrosNAkrotirianakis #FatherStephenFreeman #DickPurnell #BishopJohn #PastorTimothyKeller #JonathanJackson #GeorgeStavros #KenGire #WalterHilton #MadeleineLEngle #DanielleXanthos #FrJohnBreck #FrLeonidKishkovsky #RussellWillingham

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