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Broken? – Stanza VI – Part II

October 19, 2012 by  
Filed under Becky Ward, Broken

Broken, to the World means useless.
 “We must be strong, and never weak!”
But in contrast to this vision,
brokenness is what You seek.

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 Sts. 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.

Love & Prayers,

Becky

This post is part of a series. The introduction and other articles from the series can be found here once they have been published.  

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About Becky Ward

Becky is a wife, mother of four (One in heaven), grandmother of five, and a "re-formed Catholic" who, after receiving the gift of a deep conversion in 2006, and working through the Disciples of Jesus and Mary faith formation program, now considers herself to be "fully Catholic" What this means is that she now, at last, understands and appreciates the beauty of the Catholic faith in such a way that she wants to share it with everyone. "I've heard that the Blessed Mother told a visionary, 'If Catholics really lived their faith, the whole world would be Catholic.' I see the truth in this, and it is my deepest hope to be a living example that draws others to Jesus. Given the nickname Rebel-Becca by her mother, Becky strongly identifies with St. John the Baptist and his call to "make straight the path of the Lord", and with his role as "Friend of the Bridegroom". The poem, "Broken?" written through her hand, is a reflection of the journey of the soul, and Becky explains what the Holy Spirit is teaching her as she writes posts for each stanza.

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  • RobinJeanne

    Wow Becky, it’s like you know me, my inner most thoughts. That lets me know that I am not alone in the world and my struggles are shared by others. Sometimes I feel like I’m alone and know one understands where I’m at in my journey to grow in union with the Lord. Sometimes I get concerned that I’m obsessed with thinking of the Lord all the time, as am I loosing my mind but then I remind myself that, that kind of thinking is from the enemy…. God wants me focused on Him at all times, even while I’m cleaning, working, bathing, whatever it is I’m doing.
    “What is the most wounded part of me, where do I need God most?”
    What a great question, though I don’t know the answer for me, yet but I will ask the Lord. I know my deepest wound, but what is the root of it.
    Just watch the video, with Fr. Sam Medley, SOLT, Excellent! I wished I had been taking notes sooner. An out standing part, an eye opener was him saying how anger is just an emotion, not good or bad, , even Jesus got angry at wrong doing and that God hates sin… what is evil, bad. that hate and anger is to push away from the evil and embrace what is good. That’s probably one of the problems in society today is people don’t think that anything is evil or bad and we’re taught that hate and anger are bad…. Hmmm maybe this is what Isaiah 5:20 meant when is said “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil, who change darkness into light,
    and light into darkness, who change bitter into sweet, and sweet into bitter!”  
    Thanks Becky for sharing your thoughts and experiences. 

    • Becky Ward

      My pleasure Robin. Thank you for the Isaiah quote….I have heard this from others in reference to Shakespeare’s McBeth(?)….where the witches are cackling about evil being good and good being evil…….we are certainly seeing plenty of that in the world today!

      God Bless You!

    • Bernadette

      I too, before this Catholic Spiritual Direction site felt I was alone and that no one understood my desire and journey towards God. Even my priest spiritual director said once that he could relate to only 80% of what was occuring in me. I also felt I was losing my mind as I thought about Jesus all the time….and you are right, this is a temptation from the evil one. We are being blessed by God’s graces so that we can be focused on God all the time, praying always. Thank you for making me feel that I am not alone…

      • abandon56

        Bernadette, I recommend a small book by Adrienne VonSpeyr entitled:  Three Women and the Lord.
        You will find great encouragement for the contemplative life.

  • LizEst

     Beautiful, Becky! One of your best posts. Thank you.

    • Becky Ward

      Grazie!

  • Hi! Just got back from my immersion week with Indigenous People. But more on that another time…

    THANK YOU HOLY SPIRIT FOR INSPIRING me to read THIS!!! AND THANK YOU LORD JESUS FOR MAKING MY DEEPEST WOUND SO CLEAR to me! I’m still out of town with my fellow interns, something happened last night that reminded me of all those years I was bullied. And I was wondering why God allowed that to happen. The wound which I thought had scarred and healed was suddenly torn wide open, just as painful as ever. The fear of being rejected and ridiculed. Now I see that God wanted to reveal to me just how deep and tender that wound was not because he wanted to see me hurt but because He wanted to show me how much He loved me and wanted to be united with me. How great and tender is His love! I don’t know how to respond except to let Him love me as much He desires.

    THANK YOU BECKY! I really really needed this right now! Funny these past two weeks have felt like a very unsual retreat!

    • Becky Ward

      Oh Mary!! If you only knew…………

      I have been in over my head in recent weeks learning about abuse in my past and the horrific things it does. The tentacles permeate throughout our whole lives…it is so hard to believe…….and incredibly painful to accept and look at. Yet there is a certain knowledge that God will transform the wounds….I wish it didn’t take so long to heal.

      Your comment has been good for me to read…….Thank You!!

      God is good!

      • LizEst

         Keeping you in prayer.

      • abandon56

        Becky, praying for you.  Continue to love him in your littleness and take him by the heart through trust.  Especially when it’s trust unaccompanied by feelings . . . those wounds . . . take them to his wounds and it is there that he will show you his love.

        • Becky Ward

          Thank you!

      • Praying for you! Grateful to the Holy Spirit it helped you!

    • LizEst

      Welcome back to the blog! Have had you in prayer during your immersion week…and your “very unusual retreat”. It’s good to hear from you again. Looking forward to learning all about your experiences. God bless you Mary. We’ve missed you.

  • Marie Teresa

    Thank you! Great insight – you held me from your opening, “We must be strong and never weak,” through the end, “He is so good! I am humbled to tears.”
    You captured the steps we all take toward God.

  • Thank you, Becky.  Your Posts are of a truly Spirit-blessed soul. I do not know about our other Spiritual Direction Family Members but your conscious experience of God’s Real Presence in your life is very powerful and moving.  It gives hope to those of us who “Walk by Faith” alone. The Video is wonderful. It echoes the experience of our childhood very vividly.

    • Becky Ward

      Thanks Mary….sending hugs……

  • clare

    Every saint has a past, Every sinner has a future,
    clare

    • I like that…

      • Becky Ward

        Me Too!

      • AMEN TO THAT, DAN.  Now I know I sure have hope to meet you in Heaven, miserable sinner that I am!!!!

  • DanGoddu

    “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!!”Wow…explains a ton! Amen!

  • Tapinu33

    God has led me here… Thank you

  • Margaret

    love this one!Best yet I am going to sit and prayerfully read this one!! question -Why is the printing of it so difficult? It [prints out in a narrow column -takes tons of paper  Could it be made printer-friendly ??Thank you Marg.

    • Becky Ward

      If you send me a request at, rebelbecca13@yahoo.com
      I will happily send you a Word or PDF version.

      • Psalm_psalm16

        hi Becky,, Would also appreciate if u can similarly mail me the article. I am at
        psalm_psalm16@yahoo.com.sg

        thks
        philip

  • Diane Fiore

    I have a very personal question I would like to ask privately. Is there a method for this? Thank you and Sincerely, Diane Fiore

  • Cloty

    I have been following Becky’s posts and all the other comments but was moved today to respond to this post. I also have very deep wounds that I suffered as a child . I am blessed to be led to read Becky’s post as now I can look at these wounds as my path to accept God’s love as He heals me. Thank you Becky

    • Becky Ward

      God Bless You…I will keep you in my prayers.

  • $1650412

    I love this post! This really speaks to me-on a lot of levels, thank you so much for sharing this!

  • amsmax

    I give Thanks to God that your poem came out of your journal for us! Thank you for allowing it to happen.

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