“The LORD is near to the brokenhearted *
and will save those whose spirits are crushed.
Many are the troubles of the righteous, *
but the LORD will deliver him out of them all.”
Psalm 34; Joseph, Guardian of Our Lord; Evening Prayer, the Daily Office, Year One
To be with God is to have a vulnerable heart, a vulnerable life. To be righteous is to be aware and vulnerable to the needs of the suffering of humanity and creation, and to be willing to experience one’s own suffering with their suffering, so to serve and tend to the needs of suffering. It is the broken heart which becomes the broken ground ready to accept the seeds of compassion, the good soil from which the bounty of joy is ultimately raised to the nourishment of self and others. In my experience, and with those of others, this is the realization of God’s promise. There are times when the broken heart’s reality seems the closest intersect with God’s presence, when the Spirit of Christ’s love is real and tangible, when the choice is made to keep on loving, to keep risking the vulnerability Jesus, God, experienced towards the cross and on the cross, who persisted in loving his tormentors even to his last breath. It is at the moment of brokenness, when we are aware of our vulnerability, and fully present in it, that the fullness of our humanity comes into view, when too, the fullness of God within us comes into our field of view as something real and tangible: mysteriously and miraculously, we can still rise up again with Christ, we can still love.