Prayer Request

A reader writes:

I am the former seminarian and clergy abuse survivor who wrote you several weeks ago. I would first like to thank you for posting the request. It meant a great deal, and I truly felt the consolation of your readers’ prayers. God was also provident with the arrival of some additional money that helped pay some bills.

I am, however, dealing with a new issue. I will spare you the details, but several times over the past few months I have been stricken terrible physical pain that only happens on Sunday mornings when I am getting ready for Mass. My doctor and I agree that it is psychosomatic, but it is still a burden.

I have remained faithful despite what was done to me, so it is profoundly disturbing to have my very body rebel against attending Mass. Please ask your readers to pray that I might be delivered from this dark night of the soul.

In the interim, I recall the words of Blessed John Cardinal Newman: “Lead, Kindly Light.”

Father, hear our prayer for this man’s complete healing in body, soul, spirit, and emotions that he may delivered from this pain and approach your altar unhindered by the the assaults of Satan. Mother Mary and St. Michael, pray for him and defend him. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen!

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  • jenny

    I also prayed for your healing.

  • The Catholic Science Geek

    I will certainly pray for you!

  • Sharon

    I’ll pray for your healing and hope that you are seeing a trauma specialist so that you can move on with your life.

    • PeterDamain

      Thank you, Sharon. I was fortunate to find an excellent trauma therapist who specializes in clergy abuse – and who does not have an axe to grind against the Church (Deo gratias). We use a version of EMDR that uses vibrations rather than visual stimuli, and it works wonders.

      My abuser was also my superior, so there was never a time or place I felt entirely safe. Those years of feeling unsafe and constantly being on high alert took their toll. Medication has helped me to rewire my nervous system and de-escalate my hyperawareness.

      I’ve made excellent progress thus far, and this latest development is a hiccup in an otherwise steady improvement from what was a crippling case of PTSD.

      Thanks to all of you for your prayers. They mean more than I could possibly express.

  • Paul

    Praying for you!

  • Sharon

    Hi Peter Damian,

    I am glad you have a good therapist who will help you process trauma. Some
    time back we had a Catholic, sort of, discussion board here in Australia and two
    abuse survivors used to post occasionally. Their abuse happened many years ago
    but unfortunately they had not been able to come to terms with it, as well as
    one can, and move on with their life. I used to feel so sorry for them but
    could do nothing for them but pray. My daughter is a clinical psychologist who
    has counselled a number of people suffering from PTSD, no abuse survivors –
    another agency helps them. Her clients came mainly from the military,
    fire-fighters and ambulance people. I sent her a Wikipedia link to EMDR. She
    said that she had heard of it and the good results it seems to get. She does not
    use it as a clinical treatment because the course which gives professionals
    training is very expensive. She had not heard of the use of vibrations in the
    treatment. Bottom line though, if it is helping you to lead a normal healthy
    life that that is great. As for the psychosomatic pain which you are
    experiencing before Mass I know that my daughter has said that sometimes we have
    to sit with the discomfort for it to be reduced. Have you done any mindfulness?
    My son, who suffers from anxiety, has found it helpful for acute episodes.

    Just another thing, please don’t think I am trying to counsel you; I have
    absolutely no training in this field and everything I know comes from my
    daughter discussing her uni classes and books on the subject, not her

    All the best.

    God bless.

    Life is a
    journey which ends in eternity

  • KyPerson

    I will pray for you. I underwent a very difficult time with a verbally abusive spouse and even now years later am still suffering the effects.