Years ago, a skilled plastic surgeon removed a potentially dangerous growth from my upper lip. The scar has long since healed and the skin is smooth and normal. In his ordinary day’s work, this talented doctor works small miracles on the faces of people disfigured with disease, accidents or birth marks. With unbelievable adroitness, he brings back smoothness and comeliness to shattered features. I would like to be there to hear the shouts of exhilaration when his patients see ugliness now replaced with a new, fresh beauty.
If God gives such a remarkable skill to an ordinary human being, imagine the talent He gives to His Son in His works as the Divine Physician. As Jesus visits us each Sunday at the Sacrifice of the Mass, He works in our hearts rather than our visible, facial appearances. Why not offer Him, the Glorious Physician and Surgeon, your heart and beg Him to fashion you a heart like his own, humble and loving.
Some years ago, a friend game me a piece of red, Italian marble, shaped in the form and size of a human heart. Lately, I have been holding out this stony heart to the Risen Lord, “Use surgery on my poor heart and make it into a masterpiece of creation, a truly loving heart.” I beg Him. My fingers points out this area in my heart where hidden hatreds still lurk. Here, in this side of my heart, infectious fears and anxieties bring sickness. Other potentially dangerous growths are taking root. “Lord, Great Physician and Surgeon, cut these out and bring beauty to my disfigured heart.”
Make a heart from red paper and hold it out to the Lord, the Risen Jesus. Point out the areas in your heart that need His skilled surgery. Jesus, Glorious Physician, make my heart beautiful.
Fr. George Mc Kenna
One day, while walking with my mother along a busy roadway, I tried to break away from her and run into the street. Only two years old, I didn’t understand the danger of such an action. My mother held on so tightly that her grip pulled two of my middle fingers on the left hand out of their joints. With my fingers so small, no one knew why I cried so much at the time. X-rays were not in vogue in those days.
Fortunately for me, my fingers grew in a normal way, but in a slightly misshapen direction. In later years, the real story came out when no work of reconstruction could be done. As an adult, orthopedic doctors told me of my good fortune in regard to this normal growth.
As I wash my hands or put them together for prayer, I find my broken fingers a constant reminder of my vigilant, loving mother given to me by the Lord as a gift beyond all price.
Through the years they have never caused me any pain or kept me from any sports or other activities. Of course, they did keep me from being a concert pianist and a speedy typist, but I was never interested in those works anyway.
My bent fingers constantly remind me of my brokenness as I stand before the Lord and offer Him prayer with outstretched hands. Yes, their shape tells me of the brokenness of my heart, mind and spirit.
If we look into our lives, few of us can say that we have complete wholeness within ourselves. We all stand as broken people before the Lord, Whose eye can search all hearts. Like a swarm of locusts, hateful thoughts, unforgiving grudges, envious desires of others’ good fortunes, anxieties about the future and constant refusals to accept the Lord as our loving Shepherd bring disease and division to our spirits.
In the privacy of our rooms, we can stand before the Lord, hold up our hands with outstretched palms and pray in words like these: “Lord, heal my brokenness. My heart is a ‘little Beirut’. As You send rain from heaven to refresh the earth, so give your blessings of peace, love and joy for the healing of my heart which is divided by all kinds of division.”
I do not expect the Lord to straighten my fingers, but I am certain that He will make whole my inner spirit.
Fr. George Mc Kenna