Broken Hearts: Thawing the Holy in Us

Posted by Censor Librorum on Sep 28, 2006 | Categories: Lesbian in a Catholic Sort of Way

Thanks to Progressive Catholic News, I found the following passage from a sermon by Rev. Robert Taylor, Dean of St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral in Seattle, WA. Rev. Taylor was discussing war; but his remarks made me think of some Catholic lesbians I have met, ones that are bitter and biting towards anyone having anything to do with religion, especially Catholicism. I have always thought their anger has its roots in a broken heart. The people most angry at the Church were more often than not the people who loved it the most. Feeling betrayed down to the cellar of their soul, they lash out at any mention.

“On Thursday I was on the website of Voices in Wartime reflecting on a passage by Parker Palmer about broken hearts. He suggests two ways to picture a broken heart. The first is a heart “broken by unbearable tension into a thousand shards” that often become shrapnel “aimed at the very source of our pain.” Palmer says this heart is an “unresolved wound that we inflict on others.” Then he gets to something more arresting: he visualizes what a broken heart may mean. He invites imaging a “small, clenched fist of a heart, ‘broken open’ into largeness of life, into greater capacity to hold one’s own pain and the world’s pain and joy.” This heart broken open becomes very different than the shrapnel of the first broken heart. The heart ‘broken open’ becomes a way of healing and enlarging our empathy and our capacity to reach out to the world, to others.”

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