[T]here are people among us whose hearts have been completely shattered—shattered beyond any earthly repair. Each of us has experienced or will experience a moment when our world seems to disintegrate around us. Most of us are eventually able to pick up the pieces, to re-create our lives in some way and go on. Some people, however, have been so completely devastated that they cannot do this. I believe there are many people in our selfish, fast-paced culture who have been left behind. There are forgotten people who live on the edge of despair, people whose lives and hearts are in a million pieces. Often, they are so exhausted and discouraged that they have given up striving or even praying for wholeness. It is these people whom I urge to meditate on this title of our Divine Savior [on Jesus, Healer of Shattered Hearts], for I believe that in doing so they may achieve at least a measure of peace and certainly a source of hope.

All that we love in this world can be taken away from us in a few moments. Dreams we have cherished for years or even decades can be dashed in an instant. Our health is ephemeral and can evaporate overnight, never to return. There are experiences of loss so intense that they can burn forever in our souls, consuming us from the inside out. I am the first to say that there may be no earthly remedy for any of this, but I am also the first to say that we have not been created to be solely of this earth. We must never forget what Jesus, the Healer of Shattered Hearts, shows us: that the power of God is infinite, that the love of God can heal that which the greatest forces of the universe cannot heal. In Jesus Christ we find a cure for all the ills and tragedies of human life, a cure that is offered to us by wounded hands. It is a cure that gushes from the side of a body that was cruelly pierced by a lance. In the Crucified One we find a human life that was shattered even more than we have been shattered—shattered far beyond any earthly repair. In Christ we find a life that the forces of Imperial Rome obliterated with overwhelming power; we find One who was horribly betrayed by a trusted friend, betrayed by the religious authorities of His people, and abandoned by those who regularly declared their love for Him. If one reads the Gospel narratives from the beginning to the point at which Jesus is laid in the tomb, we have the perfect—the archetypal—story of the shattered life.

But we know that the Gospels do not end there and we read on. We read of the infinite love and power of God reaching into a life that mortal eyes saw as absolutely destroyed—utterly ended. We read of God undoing damage that mortal men know cannot be undone. We read of death, pain, betrayal, and abandonment being turned into their opposites, into life and love, of a resurrected life that is so real, so powerful, that it has transformed the earthly lives of countless people for centuries and continues to do so today.

The resurrected Jesus is the healer of the shattered heart, the shattered life. He is the One who proves that our pain, as real and as awful as it may be, is finite and cannot withstand the infinity of the God who loves us with a never-ending love. Jesus is the “first born of the dead” (Col 1:18), but only the first. We who try to follow Him in life are assured that we will follow Him in this as well. All is never lost; the love of God is present in our darkest moments.

If we have the eyes to see them, we will notice that there are a thousand little symbolic resurrections in our lives and in the world around us: the sudden recovery from terrible illness, the healing of broken human relationships, even the coming of spring each year. I urge you to notice these things, and let them speak to you. Let them be a constant reminder of what awaits you: the resurrected life, the life of perfect wholeness, the life that the Healer of Shattered Hearts has opened for you.

This excerpt comes from Jesus and Mary: In Praise of Their Glorious Names.