The word schizophrenia literally means “a broken mind.” It is classified as a lifelong mental illness that a person must simply learn to endure: the delusions of grandeur, the emotional distance, the feeling of being out-of-touch with reality, the lack of personal relationships, the anxiety about daily living, and the trouble communicating effectively. Yet, if you ever did meet such a person, beyond the pity, you would probably feel, somewhere deep, that this was an honest human being, that this person’s brokenness was the actual nature of things, and that the only thing wrong with this person was her or his inability to hide their suffering. Indeed, while most of us find socially acceptable ways to medicate our pain and addictions to keep ourselves together, the schizophrenic person is a living reminder that life, underneath it all, is truly perilous and that we have a desperate need for both the love of God and neighbor to remain intact (Mk 12:28-31). Let us, therefore, look to Jesus who was himself crushed and broken (Is 53:5), but who nevertheless lived with utter integrity, especially crucified, nestled safely between the arms of his loving Father and carried along by the wings of the Spirit (Ex 19:4). May we have the courage, with our schizophrenic sisters and brothers, to dig deep and learn to walk this same narrow path that leads to life (Mt 7:14, Gal 2:20). Ave Crux, Spes Unica.
Published by Brothers Phil and Ben
Phillip Smith and Benjamin Rossi are members of the Congregation of Holy Cross. They established The Voice of Moreau blog on September 15, 2018. View all posts by Brothers Phil and Ben