Prayers Against Domestic Violence

15 Dec

Lord God,
Your own Son was delivered into the hands of the wicked,
yet he prayed for his persecutors
and overcame hatred with the blood of the cross.
Grant those who stand against violence peace of mind
and a renewed faith in your protection and care.

Protect us all from the violence of others,
keep us safe from the weapons of hate,
and restore to us tranquility and peace.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

-Adapted from the Book of Blessings, Archdiocese of Detroit. See http://www.aodonline.org/

To each, respond: LORD, BE OUR STRENGTH AND COMPASSION!

Sarah and Abraham in their old age were blessed with a child they deeply cherished. Help us cherish children: Lord …..

Saul of Tarsus persecuted and abused the followers of
Jesus. Help abusers and the abused be transformed: Lord …..

Peter denied Jesus and fled in fear. Give us the courage to protect victims and challenge abusers: Lord …..

Jesus spoke with conviction and challenged authorities. Help
us be prophets bringing justice to the abused: Lord …..

Jesus loved the oppressed and outcast persons. Help us
foster laws that safeguard and respect the abused: Lord …..

The first Christians were abused emotionally and physically,
being cast out of synagogues and shunned by neighbors and
friends. Give counselors wisdom and understanding hearts to
heal abusers and abused: Lord …..

Mother Teresa saw Christ in the suffering and dying,
and welcomed them with loving care. May the hearts of all
of us be filled with such love: Lord …..

-Archdiocese of Detroit

I was inspired to include some prayers here for those who have ever experienced domestic violence. I haven’t, but in reading the blog at hopefields.blogster.com I felt compelled to feature a Catholic (in a universal sense!) viewpoint on this issue. I hope I offer some consolation to those affected by violence at home, and that I encourage others to pray, at least, for these people and for those who are the abusers, too.

Nobody should be subject to violence in the home, yet in the United States (I’m unsure of the figures in Canada) the leading cause of injury for women aged 15 to 44 is domestic violence. Women and children form the vast majority of victims, though violence can, of course, be directed toward anyone.

Violent acts in the home are intolerable from a Catholic perspective, and are contrary to the will of God and opposed to Scripture. I am reminded of a Chinese proverb:

If there is light in the soul, there will be beauty in the person. If there is beauty in the person, there will be harmony in the house. If there is harmony in the house, there will be order in the nation. If there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world.

The fight against violence begins in the innermost depths of each person. One cannot expect beauty, harmony, order, and peace in higher structures if these are not found in the soul. I ask this of all viewers of this article, myself included: to pray when you’re angry so that anger doesn’t manifest itself as violence toward yourself or others.

St. Paul teaches:

“Be subject TO ONE ANOTHER out of reverence for Christ. Wives, be subject to your husbands AS YOU ARE TO THE LORD, for the husband is the head of the wife just as Christ is head of the church, the body of which he is the Savior.”…”Husbands, LOVE YOUR WIVES, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…” (Ephesians 5:21-23, 25)

“Let the husband render unto his wife due benevolence and likewise also the wife unto the husband” (1 Corinthians 7:3)

Jesus was tested by the Jewish authorities as to what He thought was the greatest commandment. He responded:

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 23:34-40)

In another passage Jesus says: “The King will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.'” (Matthew 25:40)

Husbands have a duty to love their families as Christ loves His family, the Church. Men are to be subject to Christ in loving their wives, children, and their entire community. Violence opposes and destroys the God-like love that should be fostered in a family. It comes from a deep inability to love one’s self. If one is unable to love self, then one cannot love neighbour and cannot profess to love God.

A special responsibility exists to protect the most defenceless of human life: the unborn. This was highlighted even more by two recent cases here in Edmonton over the last few months. This past summer, a pregnant Liana White was killed. Her husband is charged in her death. More recently, 19-year-old Olivia Marie Talbot, pregnant and with a troubled past, was shot dead on her doorstep. Talbot’s mother recalled how her daughter was born premature, earlier than the amount of time Olivia had been pregnant. Olivia’s unborn child was past the age of viability, Olivia Talbot’s mother argued, thus her murderer should be charged with two counts of homicide. I agree.

In light of these cases, and similar ones in the U.S. (e.g. Scott Peterson), the abortion debate has been rekindled. It isn’t us so-called conservatives forcing open the issue as I read recently. The evil of abortion and the hypocrisy of states that permit uncontrolled access to it yet would hold murderers of pregnant women accountable for the death of the child will come to light on its own, like it or not. In Canada, over 300 children are aborted daily. In the United States, 30 million people have been lost to abortion since Roe v. Wade. That’s nearly the current population of Canada!

Other forms of violence persist: against the elderly and disabled, for example.

Let us decry all forms of domestic violence, preserving the dignity of human life from conception to natural death. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

WRS

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