In a world of broken people
You alone can make us whole.
Wounded hearts and minds and spirits,
broken bodies, battered souls.
USA, Summer of 2010; four years into my faith formation program, almost ready to graduate. I cannot help but reflect on the differences in how I view the world now vs. four years ago as the Holy Spirit pours words in my heart to express what He has shown me.
Not long ago a friend and I were discussing some troubling things that were happening at their workplace. The new buzzword was ‘wounded’ and from my own days in the business world I could see the way it would be used to allow employees to get away with not doing their work; their co-workers being told they must learn to be more sensitive because, “we’re all wounded.”
This idea played through my thoughts for quite some time and I began to see that, while I didn’t agree with the way it was being used, it was true. I would go so far as to say that I don’t believe there is a soul on the face of the planet that isn’t wounded in one way or another. Be it physical challenges like blindness or paralysis, mental-emotional disorders or illnesses, various anxiety issues or troubles on the spiritual front……none of us escapes; we’re all broken in some way.
God was teaching me to see what happens when we leave him out of our lives. For example; although our society claims to be very advanced, especially in the realms of science and technology, and while vast numbers of people flock to psychologists, psychiatrists, psychoanalysts, and other mental health experts, in hope of finding the right medication or the right ‘outlook’ to deal with painful life issues, things are getting worse; and the experts fail to explain why.
Talk shows fill the airwaves with souls confessing their dirty laundry to millions of viewers, and they often seem proud of appalling behavior and unkind things they have done to other human beings. Cell phones are everywhere and many seem to find no impropriety in discussing very personal issues in public! This demonstrates the soul’s need to articulate its sins (CCC 1450), yet, with the exception of the priest, the confessionals of our Catholic churches are often empty.
Commercials by the hundreds promote ‘the perfect life’ one can have if they only take a certain medication. It often takes longer for the spokesperson to tell viewers about the numerous side effects of said medication than its supposed benefits. Patients walk into doctors’ offices asking for anti-depressants describing the commercial. “I want the one where the couple is walking on the beach” or “I want the one where the guy is rowing his boat across the lake.” The number of commercials for anti-depressants and sexual dysfunction medications alone is staggering!
The divorce rate among Catholics is as high as in the rest of society. Families are torn apart, not realizing that in addition to being a physical entity, a family is also a spiritual entity. We can separate our bodies from one another, we can tear up the marriage license, but we cannot extinguish the bond of unity that exists between our souls.
One day in the midst of this line of thinking I remembered something I had read about Our Blessed Mother. It was a reflection on how she must have felt during Jesus’ Passion and it described her as being completely broken holding her dead son in her arms ……it went on to explain the tremendous graces that came to us through her willingness to accept this brokenness…….and it was this that solidified the idea in my mind and heart that what the world considers broken, isn’t really broken at all when viewed from a spiritual perspective. Thus, the question mark in the title of the poem.
Love & Prayers,
This post is part of a series. The introduction and other articles from the series can be found here once published.