Stronger in the Broken Places: Weekly Message for 08-29-2023

Dear Friends,

In preparing to write this reflection, my mind kept returning to a story I read several years ago by Fr. Cleveland, in a chapter entitled “Stronger in the Broken Pieces.” Hence, the title of this reflection. 

The story tells of a great British violinist invited to play a concert on a priceless 250 plus year old Stradivarius violin. If you are a classical music buff, this has gotten your attention! Each Stradivarius violin is made of 80 pieces of specifically selected pine, boxwood, and ebony and covered with 30 types of special varnish. Each violin created is unique and of great value. The famed violinist knew the treasure that was placed in his hands. He knew the hauntingly beautiful notes that come from a violin of this caliber. As he walked out on stage—he tripped on a cord and fell. The violin broke into several pieces. WOW!

I can just imagine the shock that reverberated through the audience and the knot of despair in the pit of the violinist’s stomach. 

After two months of painstaking work, this same violinist was presented with the same violin. He doubted it could ever sound the same. It didn’t. It was even better! The notes seem to hang in the air forever. No one could even see where the instrument had been repaired. It was the work of a master craftsman. 

Catholics are taught that each person is created by the ultimate Master Craftsman in our mother’s womb, and that each one of us is completely unique. We know we are born into a broken world, that trauma and suffering may shatter our families and friendships and maybe even shake our faith. It is here we look to draw strength from the lives of the saints and our Blessed Mother. They too suffered at the hands of others, intentionally and unintentionally. 

Our Lady of Sorrows, whose novena begins September 6, offers us an opportunity to meditate on the seven events in the Blessed Mother’s life where it seems her heart was pierced and breaking into pieces like the violin.  Each moment Mary entrusts her aching heart to God our Father, and He repairs it in such a way it becomes stronger.  May we as well entrust our broken lives into the hands of the Master Craftsman, trusting that He will not only heal our wounds but make us stronger.

Yours in the Heart of Jesus,

Republished with edits from 08/17/2021

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