Heartbreak

 

“Heartbreak” addresses the human experience of loss and pain. Admitting that the reality of evil cannot be explained in our lives, it suggests a way to negotiate its presence. Employing a single line of the Gospel of Luke that describes the attitude of Mary after the birth of Jesus, it invites us to accept the entirety of our own stories and throw our pain together with the rest of our lives.

 

REFLECTION QUESTIONS FOR “HEARTBREAK”

1) When have I experienced heartbreak? Do I feel I have begun to recover?

2) What words or actions of others have helped me in my pain? Which have not?

3) Even though there is no other viable option, do I believe that accepting my heartbreak is possible?

4) Identify three blessings that are presently in my life. Can they together outweigh my losses?

  • W.Z.

    This resonated with me and my experiences with clinical depression. While not life threatening like cancer, depression stirred up similar questions, such as “why me?” and “I thought God loved me, so why this?” With treatment and healing, I have come to a place where I can mix the depressive episodes in with the rest of my life of good things and see that the joy wins out over the pain. This is a great video that puts to rest the notion of God “testing” us or punishing us with hard times.
    Thank you!

    • georgesmiga

      I am happy that the video spoke to your experience. It is especially important that the natural desire to know “why” does not lead us to see God as indifferent to our pain.

  • Linda Rini

    Great analogy-We have so many blessings in our lives and they do out weigh the bad. Too often we don’t think about it-we are so quick to crab about the bad things and become overwhelmed by them. That bread looks really good :-)

  • Michael Mills

    Outstanding job Fr.George. Over the last few months I have been trying to deal with the death of my Mother. Listening to your words will help with some of that healing. Your message will be shared with the staff at Jennings. Everyday we deal with death and I am sure that your message will ease their pain and make their suffering easier to deal with. We often want to reflect on the negative when someone close to us dies. I thank God everyday for the blessing that we have and for the one that we do know are even coming.

    • georgesmiga

      Thanks Michael. It is a great idea to share the message with the staff at Jennings. I know they grow very close to the residents there, and it is difficult to cope when those relationships come to an end.

  • joyce m. kelleher

    THANK YOU! Always the right words at the right time. blessings!

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  • Mariane Slattery

    Your words are so helpful as we wrestle with the pain, hurt and losses in our lives, Fr. George. In his book, When Bad Things Happen to Good People, Rabbi Harold Kushner says something similar in that maybe God does not cause the bad things to happen in our lives, but stands ready to help us cope. I especially found comfort in your suggestion that we look for the good that can come from the pain. It’s not always easy nor is it always immediate, but there surely will be something to treasure from every experience, even the ones that hurt. Thank you for giving so many people access to this kinds of comfort.

  • d.c.

    I love it!
    It not only resonates with my life experience but confirms the fact that I always find inspiration from Mary’s response to her experiences.
    Thank you for “mixing” it all together.
    And by the way your Director is VERY good, too.

    • georgesmiga

      Thanks. My director IS very good. Lucky for me he is also a friend.

  • Bernadette LaGuardia

    Good job! The heartbreak of loss often feels like a “soul break” so I loved your visual image of creating something new with your hands as you spoke of life continuing to be full even as we stagger under heartbreaking experiences. It’s sometimes hard to hold on to that perspective but making, eating and sharing bread is a quite tangible, positive means to doing that. Thanks for your insights. Bernadette LaGuardia

  • Kathie Frisby

    I have accepted my sadness knowing that time leads to a better place. I count my blessings of which there are many. Thank you, Fr. George for posting this timely message. You are so gifted.

    Also, the bread looks awesome…no recipe?

  • Janet Gardner

    Fr. George thank you for your inspirational words. I needed to here this message. I hope that I can help others in their grief as you have helped me in mine.I love the visualization of the bread you included in this video. When dealing with pain and heartbreak I can remember the wonderful message you spoke of and know God is not punishing me or others.

  • Brian Myers

    This was a beautiful reflection on the heartbreak in our lives. I think the image of baking bread is a profound one to reflect on in relation to your reflection. It prompted me to think about Matthew 13:33 in a new way. This verse says “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch was leavened,” or as the NLT puts it, the yeast permeated throughout the dough. As we mix together the experiences of our lives – the blessings and the sufferings, the joys and the pains – an important ingredient that gives these experiences of our lives meaning is that they are all permeated by the love and the grace of God. I will continue to ponder your message.

  • Ric

    I really like the idea of ownership: Mary could claim those difficult things as her own, or let them claim her. Throughout the Gospels, especially Luke, Mary is all about being accepting of God’s will and whatever life has in store for her and her family. It is a terrific inspiration on how to “own” those challenges we face.

  • Laurie

    Thankyou

  • clover

    What a wonderful interpretation of this text: To ponder is to throw together. Acceptance of all life hands us is the key to healing, and remaining open to grace in the many surprising forms it takes will keep us open to life. Thanks, George.

    • georgesmiga

      Thanks Clover. I hope you may find a use for the video in your church ministry.

  • Meighan

    I just watched this video for the second time. It is a great reminder to cherish the relationships I have and also be accepting of the ones i have lost.

  • patti

    Why do I always think that you are in my closet? Your words are what we needed to hear this week..thank you for caring for your flock and for others.

  • Barb

    Thank you so much Father George for your prayer, time, and
    discipline that went into the making of this video. It is truly a treasure that I will pass on to many. When I first listened to it, I watched intently, curious to what you were making and wondering why you were so busy! Upon reflecting, I treasure
    the messages of what you did say and the treasures of what you did do!

    Recently, we were touched by “heartbreak” and struggled to make sense of the situation. As
    you explained, you cannot make sense out of the situation without falling into
    negativity, which is unproductive and adds weight to an already stressful
    emotional time. I want to confirm that it IS best to reflect upon God’s boundless love for us and cling to the comfort and strength He sends through the help and support of others. Add to this, participation in the sacraments, as you quietly pointed out to bring the “nourishment” needed for living.

    I often thought that being in communion with God was
    happiness and everything “going right.” Then the human condition came along, and I expected God to take the pain away and fix everything. But as Mary modeled for us, we need to continue to move forward with hope and perseverance because “all things work together for good” [Romans 8:28]. And they did!

    • georgesmiga

      Barb, Thank you so much much for your witness and for your willingness to share it here.

  • Gloria

    When I was in rehab after a serious operation, I received a devotional book that encouraged me to persevere. It said.

    “When I get through whatever is on my plate for today, I know I will receive the promises You have for me. If I do not know the sweat of the work, I will never know the sweetness of the victory.”

    I believe that perseverance is a gift that helps you to get through difficult times.

    Thank you for this beautiful video that puts heartbreak into perspective.

  • patricia firem

    Fr.George, I found the bread-making so effective as a metaphor for “throwing things together” that might not look so compatible at first. You make the point well. Also, found an earlier
    injunction you gave us to “find one thing to pray for with all your might ” a good one because it set grace rumbling in my mixing bowl! Good things have been emerging. Thanks.

    • georgesmiga

      Thank you Pat. I hope all in well and the dough is rising.

  • Susan Moore

    Father Smiga,
    Just wanted to share that I have offered this video to individuals who are struggling with a heartbreak, and who strongly profess to be non-Catholics, and they have found profound comfort and peace in it. They have also backed off of my reverting back to Catholicism, and instead of angrily making wrong assumptions and not listening to my responses, they are now calmly asking questions from their hearts. I wonder if you realized this video would have that kind of evangelical component?
    How great is our God?!