The Church teaches us that, in spite of having received Baptism, concupiscence remains in the soul, the fomes peccati, "which proceeds from sin and inclines to sin". What revelation tells us," affirms the Second Vatican Council, "coincides with experience. Man, in fact, when he examines his heart and sees his tendency towards evil, is overwhelmed by many evils, which cannot have their origin in the Holy Creator (...). The whole of human life, individual and collective, is presented as a struggle - a dramatic struggle - between good and evil, between light and darkness. What is more: man feels incapable of fighting effectively on his own against the attacks of evil, to the point of feeling himself imprisoned in chains".
We have feet of clay, like that statue of which the Prophet Daniel speaks, and, moreover, the experience of sin, of weakness, of our own weaknesses, is evident in the history of the world and in the personal lives of all men. "No one is entirely free from his weakness and servitude, but all need Christ, model, teacher, savior and life-giver". Every Christian is like an earthen vessel, containing treasures of priceless value, but by its very nature it can easily break. Experience teaches us that we must remove every occasion of sin. This is a sign of wisdom, because "placed in them, we must not trust where so many enemies fight us and there are so many weaknesses in us to defend ourselves".
The Lord, in his infinite mercy, has willed that our own frailty be for our good. "God wants your misery to be the throne of his mercy, and your impotence the seat of all his power". In our weakness the divine power shines forth, and it is a means, perhaps irreplaceable, to unite us more closely to the Lord, who never leaves us alone. It teaches us to look with understanding on our brothers and sisters who may be going through a bad time, for, as St. Augustine teaches, there is no fault or sin that we cannot commit. And if we have not yet committed it, it is due to divine mercy, which has preserved us from that evil.
Let us go to Jesus, full of trust: "Lord, may we not be troubled by our past miseries already forgiven, nor by the possibility of future miseries; may we abandon ourselves into your merciful hands; may we make present to you our desires for holiness and apostolate, which are beating like embers under the ashes of an apparent coldness....
"Lord, I know that you hear us. You tell them too "