Pastors Pen


“The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise” (Psalm 51:17). This comes from one of the penitential psalms found in the psalter. It is attributed to King David as the prayer he makes to God after his infamous sin with Bathsheba and his killing of Uriah, the husband of Bathsheba.

David could have acted as if there was nothing wrong with his actions, even though those actions broke up a marriage and led to the killing of one of David’s best and most loyal soldiers. He’s the one with the power and he can do what he wants.

Through the help of the prophet Nathan, he realizes that he has done wrong, and it cracks his pride, leaving him with a broken spirit, one that is open to correction and open to the healing action of God.

A broken spirit is an honest spirit. It is someone who knows that they are broken, unable to save themselves, unable to be perfect, unable to contend with the temptations that they face in life. The number and degree of bad things that people do (sins) are all different, but everyone at least has to face up to having bad thoughts about another person, not speaking the truth when they should, not having good intentions in their actions, or some other sin that may be interior and not seen by anybody but God.

Everybody is broken. Some people won’t admit it, and others think that they are so broken that God would not want them. God wants us to come to Him as we are. That doesn’t mean He won’t call us to change our ways, but it does mean that we don’t have to be good before we can begin to pray.

“God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). We should all learn from David and bring our whole selves before the Lord. His love is what changes us, and He desires to pour it out upon the brokenhearted.

Fr. Jonas A. Shell

Pastor of Our Lady of Mercy in Carrollton and St. Mary’s of the Immaculate Conception in Morges

Loading next article...

End of content

No more pages to load