I recently received information that a man I once knew well may be a sexual predator ... of his daughters. The information came from a source I trust, for the most part, and put with my own observations, the charge was, unfortunately, believable. He may not have actually molested his girls; I have no interest in tearing up a family on hearsay (which is the quandary my source is in as well). At the very least, he is guilty of being ... inappropriate with his daughters.
I was horrified; my stomach was in knots. You must understand, this person was once very close to me, and I still have an interest in his well-being. So I poured out the story to my beloved husband, asking, "What do I do?!" His response? "Pray." But I had tried that and got nowhere, because my worries shadowed my words and I didn't know what to pray for. Should I pray he stop drinking - these "incidents" only occur when he's drunk. Should I pray he gets caught? I just didn't know. So I wailed to my Bill, "What do I pray?!"
"Thy kingdom come, thy will be done."
I was quiet in an instant. The wonderful Catholic practice of rote prayers would bail me out, providing me solace as they did. At the same time I was reminded of the promise that the Holy Spirit would pray with me when I didn't know how to pray. I was all set. Every time I began to worry about this man's plight, I would say an "Our Father"; many have been said. I am a worrier.
I asked my husband to pray with me. We prayed an "Our Father", a prayer of complete Fatherhood, for the fractured fatherhood of this man. Because his wife is turning a blind eye to the troubles in her house, thus marring her motherhood, we prayed a "Hail Mary", a prayer of ideal Motherhood. We finished with a "Glory Be", praising the true family of the Blessed Trinity for this poor broken family.
I even had an experience that said to me I was handling the situation correctly. Before Mass on Sunday I read the readings then, if I've time, I read through the hymns posted for the morning. Our opening hymn was "The Lord's Prayer". Once again I prayed for this man, and felt calm. When it came time for the opening hymn, it was actually something different, I had misread the number. However, I was still calm; Our Father had seen to it that I could concentrate on the Mass and not on the mess.
I am so grateful for the wisdom of my husband. And I would be ever so grateful, if this situation should rise in your mind, if you would say an "Our Father" for this family.