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Re-member-ing? Or, Putting Together That Which Is Broken?

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Tea bowl fixed in the Kintsugi method

Tea bowl fixed in the Kintsugi method

Re-member-ing? Or, Putting Together That Which Is Broken?

Ah, brokenness. Puzzle pieces, scattered far and wide. Or, worse, some delicate figurine or pottery that has broken to pieces. Again, difficult to reassemble.

That’s what I immediately thought of when I saw Margaret Silf’s different prayer suggestions Yes, I know I have been requested to discern my personal faith story. Yes, I realize it is—indeed—a sacred task. Then, WHY do I have the overwhelming feeling that making sense of my faith story/my faith journey through life is so closely akin to re-assembling the broken fragments of some kind of fragile glassware?

The gist of one of her penetrating suggestions runs as follows: “Notice how God has been constantly present, not just in the special moments. Notice especially how, with hindsight, periods when God felt absent may have prepared you in some way for further growth. Notice how periods of difficulty strengthened you in certain ways, as hard exercise strengthens our muscles. . . . Where honesty prevents you from seeing God in parts of your life, tell God so in your prayer, and express your pain and anger to God freely.” [1]

I figured this, so far. My deep-down brokenness comes from several places, not least of which is the evil of a fallen world. (I have no problem believing this. I freely admit where I have fallen far too short.) Yes, society is broken, the family structure is at fault, relationships are (at best) erratic, and my internal and external person and Being is irreparably flawed.

And yet—and yet—I have hope. I hope in the One who loves me. I receive grace through the One who loves me. And, I take comfort in the One who never leaves me nor forsakes me. And, who loves me even when I cannot love myself. I can try to follow the twisted, winding path of my faith journey, and journey myself to wholeness. Wholeness in body, mind and spirit.

Let’s pray. Dear Lord, thank You for an excellent guide book in Inner Compass. Please, God, help me as I take this journey of discovery and exploration. Be right next to me as I reveal these hidden or forgotten fragments of my journey. Thank You for assuring me that You can handle some pain, anger and disappointment, from me, and from others. Lord, in Your mercy, hear my prayers.


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[1] Silf, Margaret, Inner Compass: Introduction to Ignatian Spirituality (Chicago: Loyola Press, 1999), 20-21.