Battle Scars: He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds

William-Adolphe_Bouguereau_(1825-1905)_-_Pieta_(1876)_modif_2After wasting too much time on Facebook, I called quits on it until report card writing is finished. Since I haven’t been able to make witty status updates about the painfulness of report card writing, I have been listening to music to distract myself as I write them. I suppose I could instead have offered it up for the souls in purgatory but I didn’t think of that until now.

A song that I really love is Battle Scars by Guy Sebastian featuring Lupe Fiasco. I really like what Guy Sebastian said on the behind the scenes video: “We just really wanted to speak to people from all walks of life and I guess everybody has battle scars.”

Christ knows what it is to have battle scars.

When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side.” 

John 20: 19-20

Battle Scars

Where do battle scars come from? Battle wounds. Wounds caused by sin: by our own sinfulness and by the sinfulness of others. In Christ’s case, the battle scars are caused not by His sin – for He is without sin – but they are caused by our sin. “He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross.”  (1 Pet 2:24)

Hope the wound heals but it never does
That’s cause you’re at war with love
You’re at war with love

It’s so true, isn’t it? So long as we are at war with love – Love Himself – the wounds won’t heal. When we’re at war with Love, the wounds are ripped open over and over.

But the song doesn’t always get it right:

Now you’re down on the ground screaming medic
The only thing that comes is the post-traumatic stresses
Shields, body armors and vests don’t properly work

When we’re down on the ground, screaming, Christ is the medic and into our wounds, into our brokenness, Christ pours out love and mercy from the depths of His Sacred Heart. On this battlefield, Christ gives us his Church, the field hospital. And the shields, armour and vests of this world don’t properly work but Christ gives us the shield of faith, the armour of God, the breastplate of righteousness.

I wish I couldn’t feel, I wish I couldn’t love
I wish that I could stop cause it hurts so much
And I’m the only one that’s trying to keep us together

In the Garden at Gethsemane, Jesus was deeply troubled. He prayed that the cup would pass from him. Jesus is the suffering servant, the one who underwent the agony and the passion. Yet through all this, Jesus loved. He loved until it hurt. He loved until death. He has never stopped loving no matter how much our continued sinfulness hurts Him. He is the one trying to keep us together.

These battle scars don’t look like they’re fading
Don’t look like they’re ever going away
They ain’t never gonna change

The scars of Christ did not go away. Luke’s Gospel recounts how Jesus said to the disciples, “Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself.” But the wounds of Christ had changed. They are now part of the resurrected Christ.

See, you hoped the wound heals, but it never does
That’s cause you’re at war with love
Hope it heals, but it never does
That’s cause you’re at war with love!

It is only when we stop fighting Love, we can allow ourselves to be healed.

The man going from Jerusalem to Jericho was half-dead on the side of the road. But the Samaritan was moved with pity. “He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.”   (Lk 10:34)

Will we stop fighting Christ and instead allow him to bandage our wounds? Be anointed with the oil, His Holy Spirit. Be healed by the wine: His precious blood poured out for us on the cross and at the mass.

“He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. For you were going astray like sheep, but now you have returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.”                 (1 Pet 2: 24-25)

These battle scars don’t look like they’re fading
Don’t look like they’re ever going away
I ain’t never gonna change

Please pray for all those who suffer PTSD. Please pray for all those who are returned from war. Please pray for those who despair. Please pray for those who are obstinate in not changing. And please pray for the Holy Souls in Purgatory, especially those who were in the military.

[Scripture quotes are NRSV]

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