Broken Hearted

The Responsorial Psalm from today’s Mass has two verses of note:

Psalm 34:19-20
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted, saves those whose spirit is crushed.
Many are the troubles of the just, but the LORD delivers from them all.

We are all wounded and broken to varying degrees. I previously wrote here about our wounded condition, and how the Lord’s mercy is available to us.

The two verses imply much. God IS close to the broken-hearted, but in my experience and knowledge, such a closeness may be a mutual endeavor, a relationship between God and ourselves. The broken hearted do not forsake God in their brokenness, but turn to Him, and He in response uplifts them in some way. This does not necessarily mean that those who do not seek out God are ignored by Him, for He may choose unique avenues to show His concern. He may place certain people, places and things in their path to direct them towards Him.

The second verse refers to the “just”, again, in my readings (I forget the actual source) “just” refers to those who “walk with God.” They allow their minds and actions to be guided by Him, and through this they are delivered from their troubles.

Believing in God and being a Christian does not exempt anyone from suffering. The verse even states that “many are the troubles of the just”, perhaps because they “walk with God” they are walking counter to the ways of the world.

The above Psalm readings made me think of another set of verses (not from today’s Mass). These are from St. Paul’s Letter to the Philippians:

Philippians 4:4-7
Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice!
Your kindness should be known to all. The Lord is near.
Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God.
Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

There is a clue as to how the broken can survive. The Lord is near, Paul says, we should rejoice over that and allow that goodness to be known to others. Our anxieties and fears? We can simply offer them up, turn them over to God. Pray (get close to God), petition (ask Him for stuff) and be thankful (all good things come from God), and the peace that endures will get you through the bad times.

Will it be easy? No, of course not! Will all be sweetness and light? No, of course not!

But you will endure and get through it.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

One Comment

  1. Great thoughts there Paul! Thank you for sharing. I find one of the best ways to heal a broken heart is to acknowledge all the good things God has already done for you. A good tracking tool is a prayer journal. I found a nice sized one I can tote around to gatherings with friends, at my local Christian bookstore, but there are some online tools like Look for one that is divided into four categories,. . . new prayer requests, ongoing prayer requests, answers to prayers and praises. It is a wonderful way to recognize and remember the Lord’s Mercy on you and be grateful for it as well as having a diary to share with others to help celebrate and rejoice in God’s goodness.”For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare, not for woe! Plans to give you a future full of hope. When you call me, when you go to pray to me, I will listen to you. When you look for me, you will find me. Yes, when you seek me with all your heart, you will find me with you, says the Lord, and I will change your lot.” Jeremiah 29:11-14 The New American Catholic Youth Bible version

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