Abuse comes in many forms and the impact is often silent and unseen. Those who are subjected to abuse experience a level of trauma that is difficult for others to comprehend, in part because each victim and survivor experience it differently. The harmful events touch their soul and spirit in unique and undefinable ways.
Pope Francis often references the dignity of the human person. For victims of abuse, this dignity has been violated. It can tear at the very soul of a person. The emotional and spiritual toll lingers long after the physical wounds have healed. With attentive support and care these unseen wounds can be tended and renewed strength restored. As with so many traumas, it is difficult for well-intended friends and family to find words of comfort. But we can always provide support through prayer. Each day this month let us lift up those who have been harmed with the following from the USCCB:
God of endless love, ever caring, ever strong, always present, always just: You gave your only Son to save us by his blood on the cross. Gentle Jesus, shepherd of peace, join to your own suffering the pain of all who have been hurt in body, mind, and spirit by those who betrayed the trust placed in them. Hear the cries of our brothers and sisters who have been gravely harmed, and the cries of those who love them. Soothe their restless hearts with hope, steady their shaken spirits with faith. Grant them justice for their cause, enlightened by your truth. Holy Spirit, comforter of hearts, heal your people’s wounds and transform brokenness into wholeness. Grant us the courage and wisdom, humility, and grace, to act with justice. Breathe wisdom into our prayers and labors. Grant that all harmed by abuse may find peace in justice. We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (United States)