Paul’s statement that, “The Spirit helps us in our weakness,” is an interesting one to ponder for a little while. What does this really mean? It suggests literally that the Spirit comes to aid us in those areas of our lives were we are weak within ourselves. This is a good thing because we all know that the strategy of Satan is to attack us in our weakest areas as well. With the Spirit on our side we ought to win every time!

We can also draw from this statement the idea that it is precisely where we are weak that we will most easily find or see the work of God in our lives. God wants to help us at our weakest point to build us up so that we can whether the trials and temptations of life more easily. This does not mean that He does his work and then leaves us to our own devices while He goes off to help somebody else. I think one of the keys to effectively grow in holiness is to understand that we constantly need the help of God in our lives and particularly in our weaknesses.

We are never fully weaned from the help that comes from the Holy Spirit. If we do step out on our own we very quickly come to grief. We realise that it is not possible to combat the powers of darkness without the help of the Holy Spirit. There is no shame in this truth. It is the same for us all. Even Jesus in His temptations in the desert at the beginning of His ministry does not presume to defeat Satan on His own. He constantly returns to the Word of God for answers to Satan’s temptations. ()

Paul wants us to humble ourselves and admit our need for God’s help and then be amazed at the transformation that occurs when the Spirit really gets the freedom to it wants to work in our lives. Sometimes I think we Christians do not effectively avail ourselves of all the aids to salvation that God gives. Think of the Sacraments, the Scriptures, the Church Community and so on. How active a part do these gifts from God play in our lives? Quite often I think we are like a car that never gets out of first gear, laboring to move faster but unable to unless we use all the gears in the gearbox; unless we avail of all the gifts God has given us.

How do I struggle in my Christian walk? In the power of the Holy Spirit or out there somewhere on my own? Do I need to further invite the Holy Spirit into my life? Am I willing to do this?

Jesus, help me to recognise the role that all the gifts you give to your people have and to use each one of them to grow closer to you each day. Let me see the power of your Spirit at work in my life.