A Prayer to Mary

I offered this prayer as the homily the weekend we celebrated the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. It has taken several weeks for this to come together from conversations I had with people as well as my own reflection. If you find it helpful, feel free to use it, share it and copy it to other media. - Fr. Paul Gebhardt

 

A PRAYER TO MARY FOR OUR WOUNDED CHURCH 

Sorrowful Mother, we bring to you our anguish over the wounding of the Church 
by sinful actions and disgraceful scandal.
(On your feast day,) we reach out to you and ask that you bring our prayers to you Son, 
the Divine Healer and the Head of the Body which is the Church.

For the many victims of abuse who have been treated as objects or property,
whose human dignity was ignored or denied, whose voice was never heard, 
who have carried their horrible burden often alone.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you…

Deliver all victims of abuse from their abusers. 
Deliver them from the prison of silence.
Deliver them from the indifference of others.
Send them caring people to listen to them and to share their burden.

Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners…

For families and communities torn apart by abuse,
that the sinners may repent of the wrong they have done.
That real remorse may be obvious. That healing may begin or continue.
And that all may understand that there is no undoing 
what has been done, but that there may be forgiveness.

Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners…

For priests and bishops who have broken the trust of Gods people,
that the truth may be known so that we all may be set free.
For the Pope and all those tasked with setting the Church to right,
that they may be given the wisdom and courage to do so.

Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners…

For those whose faith is crushed by the scandal within the Church
that they may not give into despair, 
but their prayers produce greater fruit.
That their hearts may open ever more to Jesus Christ who heals.
That their reliance on Christ in the Sacraments may deepen.
That they come to see that the Church is far greater
than the men who govern the Church.

Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners…

For the children of the Church, 
That this time of cleansing and penance within the Church
may produce an atmosphere where the human dignity
of every Christian soul will be cherished 
no matter the age of its body.

Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners…

For the good and faithful bishops and priests of the Church
that they not lose heart during these dark times,
that they are reminded often that they are appreciated,
that they may continue to lead with courage and faith.

Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners…

For our Church rocked by scandal,
That the Lord may lead us through this time
Of questioning, doubt, pain and darkness
To a church that is more like Christ himself.

Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners…

Blessed and Sorrowful Mother, present our prayers to your Son
For we know that He is the way, the truth and the life, now and forever. Amen.