My thoughts and reflections on my Catholic Faith, Fulton Sheen, the problem of suffering, and books

Thursday, August 2, 2012

God is not the Author of Your Heartbreak, II

I really enjoyed writing my last post, "God is not the Author of Your Heartbreak," and want to continue commenting on Fulton Sheen quotes.  There are plenty that I've seen on the Facebook Sheen page that raise questions in people's minds, and plenty that raise questions in my friends' minds (being the Sheen FANatic that I am, I rarely question what he says...that's probably not a good thing).

Continuing the theme of "God is not the Author of Your Heartbreak," here's a quote from Sheen's book Moods and Truths:
The human heart is not shaped like a valentine heart, perfect and regular in contour; it is slightly irregular in shape as if a small piece of it were missing out of its side.  That missing part may very well symbolize a piece that a spear tore out of the Universal Heart of Humanity on the Cross, but it probably symbolizes something more.  It may very well mean that when God created each human heart, He kept a small sample of it in heaven, and sent the rest of it into the world of time, where it would each day learn the lesson that it could never be really happy, that it could never be really wholly in love, that it could never be really whole-hearted until it rested with the Risen Christ in an eternal Easter, until it went back to the Timeless to recover the sample which God had kept for it from all eternity.

(Sacred Heart image; human heart image)

There is, obviously, a big difference between the artistic representation of Our Lord's Sacred Heart--which follows the pattern of what Sheen calls the "valentine heart": mainly symmetrical, "perfect and regular in contour"--and the rugged, irregular outline of the human heart.  As Sheen wrote, there seems to be something missing in the human heart: a piece that would make it conform to the "perfect" valentine heart.

You may look at the title of this post--"God is not the Author of your heartbreak"--and then at Sheen's words about God keeping part of the human heart in heaven to "teach" us that we could never really be happy in this life, and say to yourself:
Wait a minute...God created us lacking something?  He "kept" part of our heart in order to teach us a lesson?  What kind of sick, twisted God does that to His creatures?  That sounds like He is the Author of our heartbreak, if He created us that way.
He's not sick and twisted; He knows that He is the only One Who can ever truly satisfy us.  To quote St. Augustine in his Confessions: "Thou hast made us for Thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in Thee."

He is not the Author of our heartbreak; He wants to be the Healer of our heartbreak.  He knew that we--being the weak, fickle creatures that we are--would seek our happiness in everything but Him; and because He created us with part of our heart "missing," we are going to look for something to fill that missing spot, that empty spot.  The only thing that can fill that empty spot, the only thing that can replace the missing spot, is Him.

Really believing that fact in the middle of our heartbreak, really trusting that He's holding us close His Heart, as in the image above, is hard.  I struggle with it on a daily basis.  I'm struggling with a lot right now in my life--joblessness, transportation difficulties, serious family problems that leave me bawling my eyes out or wishing that I could really feel that nail-pierced Hand on my head and hear the beating of His Sacred Heart--and then I find the love of that Sacred Heart in my friends.  In the friend who sends me an email at 2 in the morning and says his heart's breaking for me; in the friend who sends me lyrics to a song and reminds me that Jesus wants to be my "All in All" right now; in the friend who listens to me vent day after day after day.

That doesn't mean it doesn't hurt; it still hurts.  I still bawl my eyes out, still get stressed and upset and frustrated; it's only in moments of calm--like right now--that I'm able to step back, and look at it objectively, and realize that He was there holding me.

I'm trying to remember and to realize that He is there holding me, that He knows where I'll be in 2 weeks, 4 weeks, 2 months, a year from now.  I need to remember that He does NOT put struggles into our lives just to see how we handle them (more on this later); I need to trust that He has a plan.

I feel hypocritical writing this, 'cause I've been so freaked out and stressed and worried lately.  But I'll post it anyway.  My Jesus, mercy!

"Come to Me, all you that labour and are burdened, and I will refresh you."


  1. Great thoughts! Your reflections on Ven. Sheen's quote struck a chord with me. All the best, and keep up the good work!

  2. Wow, love that image of a piece of our heart kept up in Heaven for us. Very interesting.

  3. Wow, Em! I don't always agree with your reasoning, but you are SUCH a great writer!!! Keep up the good work. :-)

    <3 Clare

  4. WOW! Very thought provoking! Thanks so much for writing this! Praying for your struggles. God bless.

    1. Thanks for your prayers! God Bless you, too!