And to keep me from being too elated by the abundance of revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to harass me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I besought the Lord about this, that it should leave me; but he said to me, ’My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Cor 12: 7-10)

We don’t know, exactly, what St. Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” was. We do know that it was a “weakness,” and “harassed” him so much that he “besought the Lord” that it should leave him. But the Lord revealed to the Apostle that he could, and should, carry on “in weakness,” being content with his own less-than-perfect state of affairs, which was “made perfect” by and in “the power of Christ.” So St. Paul “let go” of perfectionism with regard to himself and his life, and “let God” carry him amidst and through “weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities.”

Perfectionism with regard to myself and my life is not a virtue. In fact, it can easily become an obstacle to living my life, as it is, in humble acceptance and gratitude for things and people as they are. Perfectionism is often just procrastination-in-disguise, a putting-off of my responsibilities, professional and/or personal, until this or that is “just right.” But let me move forward today, as I am, letting Christ be the Perfect One in all my challenges, relationships, and amidst any insecurities therein. “The Lord is my light and my saviour; whom then shall I fear? The Lord is the defender of my life; of whom then shall I be afraid?” (Ps 26: 1)

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