Broken, to the World means useless.

     “We must be strong, and never weak!”

But in contrast to this vision,

     brokenness is what You seek.

 

Wow!  I am having incredible difficulty with this stanza.  Not for any lack of material, but just the opposite.  What aspect of brokenness to focus on, and where to begin?  Come Holy Spirit, this is your work.  Enlighten and guide me please, as You will.

 

I often find that, while I know how to use a word – or I think I do, looking it up in the dictionary almost always brings surprises, and this is no exception.  Please bear with me, because words are important, yet in the past several years we have seen words twisted and redefined in epidemic proportions.  This can make communication very difficult! .  For this reason I am glad to have my grandmother’s dictionary from 1966, that still includes the old-fashioned terms.  It defines the word “broken” as:

 

1. Forcibly separated into pieces; shattered; fractured.  2. Violated; transgressed: broken vows.  3. Interrupted; disturbed: broken sleep.  4. Incomplete; fragmentary: in broken lots.  5. Rough; uneven as terrain.  6. Veering abruptly: a broken line.  7. In disorder; routed; scattered, as troops.  8. Humbled; crushed.  9. Weakened or infirm; exhausted.  10. Bankrupt; ruined.  11. Trained in procedure; disciplined; adapted: often with in: broken in on a new job.  12. Imperfectly spoken; disjointed: broken English.

 

As I look at this list from a spiritual standpoint, I see definitions 1 through 7 as being mostly the work of the evil one.  The Lord is telling me to ignore numbers 10 and 12 for the purposes of this article, and to look, in a positive manner at numbers 8, 9, and 11.  The 11th definition is jumping out at me as if in blinking neon letters!!  Trained in procedure; disciplined; adapted.  From a spiritual perspective, is this not the result of working to attain the 8th and 9th definitions, humility and weakness, where God can now step in and make us strong “Through Him, with Him, and in Him.”?

 

In all fairness, I did use the “look up” function on my computer and it shows many similar examples, but it is not as thorough; and that’s where the trouble begins.  Subtleties and nuances……gray areas, the devil loves them!!  This is how he takes a ‘firm foundation’ and turns it to sand.  This is how we move from a society that knows, because it is a scientific fact, that life begins at conception, to one that questions the ‘viability’ of  life at certain stages, and confers upon women the right to choose.  The right to choose WHAT?  To kill our babies.

 

Most of the above definitions describe perfectly the condition of women after they have exercised this so called “right”, and discover the terrible consequences of doing so.  These are consequences which in most cases, nobody told them about, and very few care enough to help them deal with.  There is a hidden epidemic in our country (and the world), of both men and women who are deeply scarred because of abortion.  The ‘world’ tells them there is something wrong with them if they can’t cope, yet as I said in a previous article, the soul knows. 

 

I’ve met two different women in the last six months who went to the doctor for pregnancy confirmation and a first examination, experienced sharp pain during the exam and then miscarried afterward.  They didn’t know that the doctor had intentionally done something to cause them to lose the baby until years later.  As for myself, when my doctor told me I needed to use some form of birth control between my children, because nursing alone wasn’t enough to prevent another pregnancy, I agreed.  I trusted him; and I used an IUD.  Now, almost 30 years later I am just learning that these forms of birth control do not prevent conception.  The way they work is by preventing the embryo from implanting, which I knew….but somehow I didn’t make the connection that this is, in fact, causing an early abortion.  Now I must deal with the fact that I might have children in heaven that I never knew about.  Father, forgive us!  We do not know what we are doing!

 

If you, or someone you know, is suffering from the effects of an abortion, please know that I am praying for you, and so are many others.   There is always hope, and there ARE ways to come to terms with what has happened, to be forgiven, and find healing.  The devil will tell you otherwise….but then he probably told you it was no big deal to begin with….yes? 

 

Here are some resources where you can find confidential help.

 

  • Project Rachel is the name of the Catholic Church’s healing ministry to those who have been involved in abortion. Find the nearest one here.

  • Web search - To find the closest Catholic Church simply enter,  “Closest Catholic Church to _______”, and put your city and state, or zip code, at the end.  I actually did this in Google and the results were very good.

**You don’t have to be Catholic to talk with a priest.**

Because this is a faithfully Catholic site, and because I know there are many sites and organizations out there that would not be helpful, I am limiting my recommendations to these. Yet I am confident that there are many other good organizations where you can get help, as well.  Ask a friend………and pray.  God will lead you to the right place.

Until we take our very last breath, there is always, always, hope!

 

The original idea that came to me with this stanza was the image of what is strong and powerful in the world, especially that which is depicted in the media as being such, as opposed to the image of Our Lady at the foot of the cross.  Imagine the mass media headlines if the Lord’s Passion were to happen today!

More importantly, I can find my own brokenness, or woundedness, somewhere between the two extremes.  That’s one of my goals in writing these articles.  The poem reflects the journey of the soul, and I hope that, with the help of the Holy Spirit, all of you who read this can find ways in which it applies to you and your own journey.

When you stop to consider how many souls are in the world, and how many different experiences we have had through our lives, good, bad, and in between, the number of variables which ‘form’ us through our experiences, over the course of a lifetime is staggering!  That God knows all of us, and all of those different experiences and how they have shaped us is phenomenally beautiful!

I remember when I first heard about suicide bombers.  I was completely unable to grasp that this was real, that people actually did this.  My family background, the culture I lived in, and my faith all told me that this was wrong.  Having been raised in a small rural community, I thought everyone was taught the same things, so this was a real eye-opener for me.  Eventually I had a conversation with someone who explained that, if I had been raised according to values that said if I died in combat I would go straight to heaven, and if that was the example I saw my family living by right or wrong, that’s probably what I would believe. 

Each of us is formed by our own experiences, and we develop ‘filters’, or ways of looking at things, accordingly.  These carry over to our spiritual life and it’s important to be aware of that.  Having read St.s John of the Cross and Teresa of Avila early in my conversion, and taking to heart what they say about not desiring favors and consolations, I remember the inner struggle when God made His presence known to me in prayer.  It was a huge relief when, at my first DJM retreat,  they explained that when God approaches us in prayer, with those first little hugs and kisses, we should stop what we are doing and be attentive to the Lord. 

In my situation, I had been praying the rosary when I experienced these first consolations, and I can’t help but smile, even now, as I realize that I was in effect, saying, “Wait a minute, God, I need to finish my prayers.” (Sheepish smile) As my relationship with the Lord has grown, I have had to let go of many of my ideas of what God would or wouldn’t do.  I love those homilies when priests talk about how God likes to surprise us, and especially when they encourage us to allow Him to do so!!

The more I allow Him to do this, and the more I focus on pleasing Jesus instead of people, the more I see how many barriers and walls I have erected to protect myself from being hurt.  This really IS a battle we are engaged in, and none of us get through it without taking a few of the enemies’ arrows.  Life hurts!!  God heals!!   

I wrote most of this post just before, and during Holy Week, and through this whole season of Lent I have been working to come to terms with my own brokenness.  Struggling to let go of my definitions, and my understanding of what I should be, so as to be open to the grace and inspiration of the Holy Spirit guiding me as He desires.  One of His tactics was to lead me to a video of Fr. Sam Medley, SOLT, talking about the healing of relationships.  This in particular, caught my attention:

The greatest thing therefore that unites us to God are our wounds, not our gifts or virtues. The good that is in us is not the cause of our union with God but the fruit of it. The good that is in God cannot resist the parts of us that need him the most like water falls to the lowest point. This happens because of God’s mercy, not because of us, however our desire, our groaning, our inmost yearning for God is our cooperation in redemption.(Emphasis mine, used with permission Read the article or watch video.)

After I watched this video I had to ask myself, “What is the most wounded part of me, where do I need God most?”

My answer to that question shows just how much I have been affected by the “supermom” syndrome.  I am the most wounded, in the dead center of my heart because, try as I might, I cannot do it all, and I do not ‘have it all together’!  As the truth of this sinks in, I realize just how great a cause I have to rejoice, and like St. Paul, to boast of my weakness (although I’m not there yet.), because now, God can work through me, and I see Him doing so.  The poem and blog posts are proof of this.  If it were up to me they would never have made it out of my journal.  He is so good!   I am humbled to tears.