To be holy, we think that we need to find or create an inner strength within us. Well, this is partly right, but it misses something fundamental. It is God that will make us strong. It is not creating something that does not already exist, but getting out of the way. The Holy Spirit dwells within the baptized and we need to cooperate with and avoid getting in the way of the Holy Spirit.
God is the source of our strength. And as St. Paul was told, “power is made perfect in weakness.” – [2 Corinthians 12:9] St. Paul then says, “Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” – [2 Corinthians 12:10]
We are made strong through weakness, because our acceptance of weakness is a way to express our love for Jesus. Surely, love is the strength we attain from weakness. So, if “God is Love” [1 John 4:8], then our strength is love. Now, let’s take the initial question: How strong do we need to be? Should the question not say: How loving do we need to be? As loving as Jesus on the cross.