I am convinced that holiness
is not about having it “all together,”
about having all the loose ends of life
tied together into an ideal unity.
It is rather openness in my poverty;
it is loving and trust-filled vulnerability,
which itself unifies the heart in acceptance
and in the movement of loving surrender.

“My Power is made perfect in weakness,”
you said, my Jesus; and this is not
some kind of trick of magic or a divine whim.
No, it is the very heart of intimate love,
in which the depths of the human heart
are laid bare before you, just as they are,
and thus allow me to experience your love for me,
and let you pour forth your grace freely into me.

Whenever I sit with another person
as they themselves share their vulnerability,
it strikes me again and again
how close to us authentic holiness is.
And I know that the only adequate response
is vulnerable attentiveness in return,
that radical receptivity that welcomes the beloved
in every aspect of who they are, in their inner truth,
and in which I allow myself to be touched,
to be wounded, to be pierced
by what they share, by their pain, by their beauty,
and by the wound of tender love for them.
I cannot offer any kind of “greatness,”
I cannot fix their problems, offering perfect insight,
but only the tenderness of the soft human heart,
which, more than anything else,
is a reflection of the Heart of God.

For what, in this world, shines more truly
than the vulnerable self-giving of two in love,
two moved by trust in one another
and by the desire to communicate,
to be united, in the Love that is God?
Father, you communicate yourself like this
to your beloved Son for all eternity,
and the Son welcomes this gift utterly.
Yet, in the same movement, you welcome,
in openness of heart, all that your Son is,
and he himself willingly gives this gift.
The mutual surrender, the shared acceptance,
and the intimate bond that makes you one—
what is this but the Holy Spirit?
…the beautiful and abiding fruit of this union.

Therefore, in the heart of our vulnerability
—in the very encounter of hearts
in this deep place of sacred mystery—
there is born, in the birth-pangs of gift,
the fruit of divine love within our hearts,
as you come to live more freely within us,
and, my God, we come, as beloved children,
to live more deeply within you.