Out of Darkness Light

There Is A Brokenness
by Rashani

There is a brokenness
out of which comes the unbroken,
A shatteredness out of which blooms the unshatterable.
There is a sorrow
Beyond all grief which leads to joy
And a fragility
Out of which depth emerges strength.
There is a hollow space
Too vast for words
Through which we pass with each loss,
Out of whose darkness we are sanctified into being.
There is a cry deeper than all sound
Whose serrated edges cut the heart
As we break open
To the place inside which is unbreakable
And whole.

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About Paul Wharton

I am a cradle Catholic, a native West Virginian, and a priest since April 24, 1982. Spiritual Direction has made a tremendous difference in my life and I encourage people to try it out. My motto is "Progress not perfection." I am grateful that God has done for me what I could not do for myself.
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11 Responses to Out of Darkness Light

  1. abichica says:

    out of the darkness, through the mist and into the light is where we all wanna be someday.. beautiful poem.. and the picture just adds the beauty… thanx for sharing.. ūüėÄ

  2. Loretta Hammond says:

    The picture says it all and more!

  3. Judy says:

    Dear Father Wharton,

    The link that you provide above and the subsequent pages on the site to which it leads have caused me concern. I am not sure why a Catholic Priest would link to pages that claim someone else’s “Way” (i.e. “Rashani’s Way is individual and profound”) The only “Way” we, as Catholics are supposed to seek is The Way of the Cross: Jesus Christ and His Church.
    There are many other things on the site that you have linked us to, above, that do not seem to be in harmony with the fullness of the Catholic Faith. In fact, I could not find “Jesus” mentioned even once. Please explain for readers here (like myself) how you have been able to incorporate “Rashani’s Way” into your Catholic beliefs. Have her retreats been approved by the Church?

    • Paul Wharton says:

      Dear Judy,

      Thanks for your response and question.  Here are some thoughts.

      1. The link is simply to acknowledge the source of the poem. ¬†This is how the internet is supposed to work — share something good, but give credit where credit belongs. ¬†
      2. It was never intended to be taken as a recommendation.  It never occurred to me that someone would see it that way.    My recommendations are found in the blogroll and my suggested and must reads listed above.  
      3.  The poem is a good one that speaks to the lives of many saints and Christians who discovered the grace of God in the experience of brokenness.    
      4.  Truth is from God and one of the principles of what makes the Roman Catholic Church Catholic is how we have always felt free to adopt and adapt a good idea regardless of the source.  For example, early Christians felt free to borrow the Jewish synagogal service when the celebration of the Eucharist was separated from the agape meal.  
      5. Human nature being what it is, if I warned people not to visit a site, more people will check out the site because I warn them to stay away.   Consider the spike in sales that results whenever a book is banned from a school or a theologian is criticized. 
      6.  Catholic high schools and colleges do not hesitate to have students read the Iliad or Odyssey. No one understands doing so as an endorsement of ancient Greek Gods.

      I hope this clears things up for you.   Please let me know.          

  4. Judy says:

    Thank you Father.

    I appreciate your reply but wish you would have done so publicly as I know that there are several others who are having the same concerns as I. Perhaps, publishing your comments to me would help them, as well. (I wrote that in reply to the private email I received from you…I am glad to see that you have also published that email here, Father…thank you.)

    I believe that you could very easily give credit to an author of a poem without linking to a website that promotes things contradictory to our Catholic Faith.
    In fact, I would say that you and I ,as Catholics, are obligated NOT to link others to sites that promote New Age thinking and activities. Surely, one does not have to advertise through links when one could merely name the author of a poem to give credit. I did not suggest that you tell others not to visit her site…but that you should not LINK to her site at all.

    I do not believe that your comparison to reading the Classic Myths is appropriate here. One is classic literature and is usually presented as fiction when taught in the classroom. The other, namely Rashani’s site, is promoting activities and ideas that are directly contrary to Catholic belief and Teaching. It is not presented as “myth” but as a truth that can help people become enlightened and blessed in life.
    This, I’m sure you would agree, is very dangerous to souls!

    Therefore, I do not think that the two are similar in any way.

    You asked what I think you might do to clear things up. I believe that there are several things you might do, Father, such as:

    1) Be more clear on your blog and in your writing as to what you believe. For instance, in your sidebar you write that you are a firm believer of the long-standing Catholic belief that “truth is where you find it”. To me, this needs clarification. I am not familiar with that as a Catholic Teaching at all! In fact, the way you have it written, it comes across as being wrought with relativism. So, perhaps you might expound on some of the things you post and write so that readers will gain a better understanding of your beliefs. Several readers of your blog have written to me (and I agree with them) that it is not clear at all, by your writings and posts, that you subscribe to a complete faithfulness and loyalty to the Magisterium and Catholic Doctrine/Dogma. Several links and posts and prayers on your site lean heavily toward Eastern religions and New Age thinking. This is disturbing to readers who are Catholic and visit your blog to find a priest writing and promoting these things.

    2) You might go back to Community of Catholic Bloggers and address the situations that have come up concerning your comments and your blog in recent days. The comment you added to our discussion about misconceptions of the Catholic Faith was found to be crass and troublesome to many of us and it would help if you would publicly state what you were trying to accomplish in sharing such a thing.

    3) Perhaps you could publish more prayers, articles, and devotions that are Catholic in nature. Yes, we are an ecumenical people, but our focus and center must always come from and remain within the beautiful Teachings and prayers of The Church.

    I hope that you will find these suggestions useful.

    May the Lord bless you in your vocation and may you always keep your heart open and willing to be used as His vessel of love to share the Truth of the Catholic Faith with the world through your gift of writing.

    In Christ, With Joy and Respect,

    Judy

    P.S. Your colleague, Matt, wrote on our Community blog that he is not sure why the poem in the above post caused me concern. Since we are talking about clarifying ourselves, let me make it very clear that it is NOT the poem to which I was referring in my first comment here, but the site to which you link your readers at the end of your post. The link that reads “Rashani’s Retreats” and the subsequent material found on those pages.

  5. Judy says:

    By the way, Father, with all due respect, ANY time we are linking to another site on the internet, we ARE recommending it, unless we have posted (as I have at the bottom right side of my Benmakesten blog) that we are not, specifically recommending, nor do we adhere to things posted on each site that we link. I have asked my readers to inform me if they find that one of my links leads to anything directly opposed to Catholicism so that I may remove the link immediately.
    Perhaps you might do something similar and then when readers, such as myself, bring it to your attention that your link (such as “Rashani’s Retreats”) lead to places that promote things that are not in harmony with Catholic Teaching, you will be able to take note, and remove the link…which, I see, you have chosen not to do in this instance and thus, I am still left wondering why a Catholic Priest would promote such a site by linking to it.

    Thank you Father, I will keep you in my prayers and ask you to do the same for me.

  6. Matt Smith says:

    “For instance, in your sidebar you write that you are a firm believer of the long-standing Catholic belief that ‚Äútruth is where you find it‚ÄĚ. To me, this needs clarification. I am not familiar with that as a Catholic Teaching at all! In fact, the way you have it written, it comes across as being wrought with relativism.”

    While I addressed this quote on the CCB site, I’ll put it here for any who wander across and see the discussion. This is, in fact, a practice and a belief of the Catholic Church, seen most vibrantly in our greatest saints. Understood correctly, there is nothing relativistic about it at all.

    “The Church has never shied away from accepting truth from sources outside of its visible confines. The council fathers stated that “many elements of sanctification and truth” can be found outside of the visible Church. St. Paul spoke of the Gentiles’ ability to know the natural law without the benefit of revelation. Augustine found deep truths in the pagans Cicero and Plotinus, reconciling Christian belief with many Neo-platonic ideas. Pseudo-Dionysius did the same. St. Thomas was the great synthesizer, taking what truths could be found in the pagan Greeks and Muslim Arabs and Persians and using them to illuminate our Christian faith. If Jesus Christ is the Truth, then obviously, all truth is His, regardless of where we find it. In this poem, is there nothing true? If there is, it is from God, not Rashani. If there is not, then we have made grave mistakes in recognizing many mystics as saints.”

    Why is this not a sign of relativism? Because the recognition is as follows- whatever is true, is true because its true source is the Holy Trinity, regardless of where we happen to find it. It’s not Rashani’s truth, despite what Rashani says. It’s God’s truth, and Rashani (or Averroes, or Cicero, or Bonhoffer, or whoever) found it despite being, as the council fathers said “outside of the visible confines of the Church”. The fact that truth exists outside of the Church is, in fact, orthodoxy. To suggest otherwise is to suggest condemnation of the constitutions of the council and the practices of our greatest saints.

  7. Pingback: Some Controversy | Elgood Mountain

  8. Paul Wharton says:

    These are comments that I posted on another website about this whole issue.

    Wow. I am completely taken aback about all the controversy. I apologize for how I have completely unintentionally offended or scandalized any readers of this or my blog.

    My orthodoxy has never been called into question. I encourage you to read ALL my posts as well as my own writings before jumping to that conclusion. Read the last two homilies I posted and tell me which parts are not Christ-centered.

    My parishioners past and present would laugh at the accusation or insinuation. I, on the other hand, cannot. It is very discouraging to have my faith and priesthood called into question by people who have never met me, heard me preach, lived in a parish I have served, talked to me or been with me at the bed of a dying person at 3:00 a.m.

    Father Paul Wharton https://heartsonfire33.wordpress.com

  9. Judy says:

    Dear Father Wharton,

    Thank you for your responses and for assuring us, as readers, that you are Christ-centered and fully orthodox in your Faith. I responded to your above comment on the Community blog, where you also published it. I pray that you have peace of mind and that our concerns and questions will not cause you further distress. As a faithful member of your extended flock (as a priest, I accept you as my Shepherd) I pray that you will continue to preach the Truth and share the Faith online as God calls you. I ask that you pray for those of us who also write online…that we will use this technology as a means to share the Joy and Fullness of the Truth as found in the Catholic Church and that our writings will lead others to Christ and never astray. Thank you Father, and God bless you.

  10. Judy says:

    Pardon my return…but I just noticed upon logging out of your blog that you have, indeed removed the link to the site that promotes New Age activity. Thank you, Father! I think you made a very wise and prudent decision and one that is good for the readers of your blog! God bless you for having the courage to make a small change that will have far-reaching effects in that no one visiting your blog will be led to another site that could endanger their soul. Amen and Alleluia to you Father! Thank you so much!

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