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A Broken People

Hands in prayer by Otto Greiner, c. 1900 Via Wikipedia

Hands in prayer by Otto Greiner,
c. 1900 Via Wikipedia

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

August 23, 2014 - Posted by | Bulletins | , , , ,


  1. Father George,
    What a great lesson. If it is ok with you, I would like to share this at our next Healing Service.
    Father Paul Burak

    Comment by Anonymous | August 23, 2014 | Reply

    • Fr. Paul, That would be fine. Thank you. Also, congratulations on your St. John Vianney Award. Fr. George

      Comment by Fr. George McKenna | August 23, 2014 | Reply

  2. Such a simple thing to happen and be used for a life-long lesson for you and others.
    Ed “Bud” Weston

    Comment by Ed Weston | August 23, 2014 | Reply

  3. Hi Fr. George! What a wonderful message. We are all broken in some way – and it is just for the Lord to heal us. My mom worked at American Can company when she was younger and cut her tendon in her finger. I remember as a child trying to make that finger go straight, but no matter how hard I tried, I was not able to do so. I love your stories and she loved them too! Today is her birthday, she would have been 94. I know that she is whole again with our Almighty Father. Her blindness and lameness and even her bent finger are all gone and her soul is in paradise. Please say a brief prayer for her soul today, if you would do so, that would make me so very happy. Love you, Fr. George! Oh, also, had a phone call after over a year from one estranged sibling yesterday! My heart sang with joy!! Prayers answered from the Assumption of Mary novena I’d been saying. God Bless you – praying for you daily, my dear friend!! Love, Nancy

    Comment by nancywest22 | August 24, 2014 | Reply

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