• Sara Larson

Healing Our Broken Hearts

Updated: Mar 1, 2019

These days, I am focusing a lot on concrete facts and practical action. However, I also know that many of you, like me, are still wrestling with intense feelings of anger, betrayal, and sadness; those feelings also need our attention. So, I wanted to share a perspective that has been really helpful to me as I have struggled to process my own emotions about this scandal.

This article was published on August 15, right after the release of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report. You can see that the words come from the instincts of a therapist, someone who is attentive to caring for mental and emotional health. The perspective on spiritual trauma (“desecration”) certainly rings true for me. While I have not been directly affected by sexual abuse, I am still deeply wounded by this betrayal of my faith and trust. Dr. Popcak’s suggestions for moving through spiritual trauma have been valuable for me - Perhaps they might be helpful to you as well?


“Whatever we, the faithful, decide needs to happen to resolve the broader spiritual crisis in the church and among our church’s leadership, we can only begin the process if each of us first pause to regain our own spiritual center. Authentic change can be motivated by pain, but it can’t be driven by it.”

Spiritual Trauma and the Catholic Church: How Do We Heal Our Broken Hearts?

by Dr. Greg Popcak

Yes, I believe the laity need to be informed, organized, and courageous in taking action, but we also need to take care of our own broken hearts. It’s something I’m definitely thinking about a lot myself, as I immerse myself in work that is frustrating and discouraging and painful. I know how important it is for me - for all of us - to stay centered on Jesus Christ, the one will never let us down. How can we “center the sacred” so that we have the spiritual strength to face the darkness?


Jesus, lover of our souls, heal us. Make us whole.

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