All -Vulnerable God


I  was speaking with a good friend about an emotional wound, after which I decided to pray to God about it. This brought me to the question of who God is for me.

In the moment it seemed I had two choices: the almighty, all-powerful God who controls all people, places, things and events, or the all-vulnerable God who does not control but who is ever present in whatever circumstances we find ourselves in. I chose to pray to the later perception of God.

The experience was one I had not had before. I became aware of the presence of Jesus, the trials and tribulations and pains he had gone through and the fact that this presence was ever-lasting. I felt connected to this presence in a way that enhanced my awareness of his life. And this in turn brought healing to my wound which was not foreign to Him.

I believe that, had I chosen the former perception of God, this would not have happened. An almighty God is a distant God. It is one thing to ask for healing from an all-powerful God and another thing to ask for healing from an all-vulnerable God.

Later I came to the realization that the term “all-vulnerable” was not something I had made up but was taken from Richard Rohr, someone whose daily meditations I’ve been reading for quite some time. Indeed, in his May 17, 2019 meditation Rohr makes the distinction between the “Supreme Monarch and Critical Spectator and the “all-vulnerable” stating, “God’s power comes through powerlessness and humility.”

On an additional note, Rohr gives his opinion that the former perception of God “the man upstairs” is cause for atheism and agnosticism so prevalent in the world today. “Rational and sincere people wonder, “If God is almighty and all-loving, then why is there so much suffering in the world?””

When I spoke to my spiritual director about my “all-vulnerable God”, she asked me if I had an image or metaphor which could describe this concept. I told her that in my mind, I saw a picture of tiny plants in black soil sprouting from the ground in their fragility with the promise of blossoms.

One year later (June 3, 2020) Rohr states: “To find ultimate security in an ultimate vulnerability, this is to be loved.”

Grace Colella has completed the requirements for the Masters in Arts and Ministry in Spirituality at Regis College. She is an active parishioner at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Toronto.

  • doreen mcguire
    Posted at 06:21h, 18 July Reply

    I am encouraged the ways igNation is regularly including opportunity for so many other voices in its online works.
    I am noticing how there is difficulty moving into Jesus, the Christ ….. and beyond Jesus, of Nazareth.
    Aren’t we being led…. to discover how to see.. grasp …. speak.. recognize …. there is no longer Jesus of Nazareth but everywhere and in every spec of reality and experience … the Christ? Not having any words yet to speak and uncover resurrection ..appearance….yet. But still must we not leave the past and go into the reality of being in the room immersed in the Risen One appearing ….. ?

  • Peter Bisson SJ
    Posted at 08:05h, 18 July Reply

    Thank you Grace!

  • Dodzi Amemado
    Posted at 11:17h, 18 July Reply

    “God’s power comes through powerlessness and humility.” I love this.

  • Sharon Walters
    Posted at 11:28h, 18 July Reply

    Beautiful, Grace!

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