reparation and atonement
We hope to add more ideas and resources
over coming weeks. All the resources will remain online indefinitely.
Although the bishops have asked us to pray on Fridays, you may wish to
keep the prayer intention alive throughout the month. There are various
ways in which you could do this.
Choose a symbol – one that you can carry with you or put on a bedside
cabinet or other place you’ll spot it each day (or several times a day)
A stone or pebble – reflect on
the hardness, roughness… perhaps also the stone could represent the
burden carried by those who are surviving abuse.
A small plant in need of care to
come to flowering (and possibly a second one that will not be
allowed to do so … reflecting on the tender souls whose lives are
blighted and cannot now flourish as God intended them to.
Water – put a note by the mirror
in the bathroom or over the kitchen sink. Every time you wash your
hands, you might read one or more of the following phrases:
Pilate washed his hands of Jesus ... Lord, forgive those who
wash their hands of those who suffered. And/ or of those guilty
of grave sin.
to the waters you who thirst … for those thirsting for love –
justice – forgiveness.
wash me and I shall be clean … I pray for those who feel unclean
because of things done to them.
Prayer card – with the short
Rosary – as a reminder to pray a
decade during spare moments – in supermarket queues/ traffic jams/
on the bus…
Hail Holy Queen prayer card– a
traditional prayer seeking Mary’s intercession. Find a prayer card
with it on = or make your own. Pray it slowly and mindfully – allow
the words to drip deep into your soul as you hold those who suffer
‘under Mary’s mantle’.
Cross in your pocket – a
reminder to pray for those whose lives have been torn apart by
It is likely that you know people who were abused as children/ young
people/ or adults – though they may never disclose this to you. In any
crowd, there will be such people too – as well as those who have
In queues and crowds, turn your mind and heart to them in quiet
reflection. In a few moments of prayer, ask God – who knows who they are
– to enfold them in love – to give those who have suffered, healing – to
bring those who have sinned to repentance. You don’t need to make a show
of this – simply be “present” and aware of those around you and allow
your spiritual energy to be used as God desires.
May is traditionally the month of Mary. For many people who have been
abused by men, Mary can offer an image of feminine love which can begin
to open the way to healing. Create a space in your home and put in it an
image of Mary that particularly speaks to you.
Hail Holy Queen as a prayer of intercession – or the Magnificat as a
prayer speaking of the power of God to raise the lowly – or the
Rosary as meditation on events in the life of Mary.
time in silent prayer, talking to Mary as the mother Jesus gave to
the world… Use the following thoughts – or any that come to your own
heart and mind as you pray:
her to hold those whose mothers let them down in her own prayer
– to touch their lives with her love.
with her about the mothers who were powerless to help their
Perhaps talk about how those who have been abused feel dirty –
impure… and how parts of Mary’s own story (and more
particularly, how people might have interpreted it) could offer
hope to them of reclaiming a sense of their own purity and inner
Prayer around the Cross
– Taizé-style Prayer
Brother Roger of Taizé often referred to the need of many young people
for healing of pain and suffering from their childhoods. He did not
specify sexual abuse – though would have been a wise enough listener to
know that it happened and, perhaps, that it happened in church settings
and that Taizé offered a place for reconciliation and healing for young
nights in Taizé, the Community invites everyone to take part in Prayer
around the Cross. The Taizé cross is placed horizontally and people come
forward to pray close to it – touching it with their hand, laying their
forehead upon it, or simply sitting or kneeling gazing at the image of
the One who so loved the world that he suffered and died for it. It can
be a moment of intense love – or sorrow – or both.
suggestions for the prayer will be uploaded shortly but a simple outline
for a Prayer around the Cross could be:
are small, this may come to a natural end and the prayer could close
with a couple of chants. Otherwise, and if the church/ building can
remain open, maintain the chants as long as practical and allow people
to leave when they are ready.
© Wellspring 2010