Inkblots and missing puzzle pieces

Inkblots and missing puzzle pieces

So, how’s it going? There’s a loaded question. When someone asks that I review my options. Let’s see– do I say fine and be done with it? No, they know enough about things to know they’re not fine. Do I say what I say to some friends who sort of know me but I’m not sure need any more information than they already have? Something like,

Oh, I pick up my cross daily and pray I can surrender to His will.

That’s the cover answer for “I actually feel that life, especially in the church, looks like an inkblot on some psych doctor’s card that should be a pretty floral arrangement or something, but to me resembles a splattered mess.”

Nope..can’t say that.

I could say what I would say to my sister, who knows and sees the real me as evidenced by many years of skirting cooking responsibilities for holiday’s and other occasions, but that would send me to the confessional.

With regards to the latest in the church–the release of the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia–Father Rutler silences the rest with his usual clear thinking and precise elucidation. He helps me understand the inkblot and makes me at least feel—that I’m not alone.

Back to the question then. How’s it going?

On my dining room table where I study, write, pray, prepare lessons, etc, I occasionally make room on the opposite side of where I sit for a puzzle..500 pieces is my limit. One time I did a puzzle that featured the nativity with the caption,

Come let us adore Him

blazoned across the blue sky and under the miraculous star outside the cave.

This time I did a puzzle called, “Forgiven” 


SunsOut Forgiven Jigsaw Puzzle (500-Piece)

It was harder than I anticipated and several times I almost gave up. The colors were difficult to distinguish and the border pieces didn’t seem to fit together.


But, I kept going. Then about 2/3’s of the way through (I had Jesus and the woman mostly assembled) only to discover three pieces were missing from Jesus; light colors that would be easy to find in the remaining pieces. Couldn’t find them..anywhere.

See, I thought to myself. I knew this puzzle was flawed.



Maybe it was the cat. What did you do with those pieces missy?


Maybe I unknowingly sucked them up with the vacuum.


St Anthony…something’s lost…

Oh, I was just so upset to have worked so hard on something that wound up having missing pieces.

Then, one afternoon as I was studying, the sun set and through the dining room window cast shadows that fell just so over the finished puzzle. It was as if I could see the colors better than when the sun was right overhead and the light shone its brilliance on all the red and brown pieces. Still sorrowing over those missing pieces, I heard the Lord in that still small voice and He said:

From where are those pieces missing?


Instantly the tears came because I hadn’t noticed it before. One piece was missing on the left side …right by His heart and the other two are missing from two places on His shoulder where I would imagine He carried the cross.

Suddenly, the missing pieces turned into a meditation where I shared my wanting heart with the Lord: broken dreams, people I love who are gone or about to leave my life, the church and all the confusion.

Have you forgotten that nothing and no one is lost to me?


I know exactly where all the missing pieces are.


My heart feels the pain with you…


My shoulders bore the pain of the cross on the road to Golgotha.


Trust in Me.


The puzzle is still on the table. I never did find the pieces, but I’m glad; for now every time I walk past it, I’m reminded, was fitting that He, for whom and by whom all things exist,

in bringing many sons to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through suffering.

For He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified have all one origin.


Hebrews 2: 10-13

How’s it going? I gave Him the inkblots and all my missing pieces confessing,


I will put my trust in Him.




  • Prayer to the Shoulder Wound of Jesus

“O Loving Jesus, Meek Lamb of God, I, a miserable sinner, salute and worship the most Sacred Wound of Thy Shoulder on which Thou didst bear Thy heavy Cross, which so tore Thy Flesh and laid bare Thy Bones as to inflict on Thee an anguish greater than any other wound of Thy Most Blessed Body.

I adore Thee, O Jesus most sorrowful; I praise and glorify Thee and give Thee thanks for this most sacred and painful Wound, beseeching Thee by that exceeding pain and by the crushing burden of Thy heavy Cross, to be merciful to me, a sinner, to forgive me all my mortal and venial sins and to lead me on towards Heaven along the Way of Thy Cross.



  • h/t to The Tenth Crusade for link to Father Rutler


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