I recently had a conversation with a friend, during which this person related to me a horrific story of sexual abuse perpetrated on them and, later, members of their family; bad, bad things done by other family members. That makes this all the more terrible - it is your family that is supposed to protect you.
But, the story was not without a happy ending, as I learned of forgiveness and redemption. Certainly, some of the victims still have a hard time, and all are dealing with what had happened. This friend told me, "You never get over it."
This conversation made me uncomfortable, as it brought back painful memories. I told my friend about another person, who once had a similar conversation with me over a cafe table, describing the sexual abuse they suffered from their father. I am no longer in contact with this person, but I keep them in my prayers, especially since I know they suffer.
Today is the feast day of St. Monica. She was the mother of St. Augustine, who prior to his spiritual conversion led a dissolute life. But his mother never gave up - she prayed for him always, and religious art depicts her often in a sorrowful state. Ultimately, Augustine did undergo a conversion and became one of the great doctors of the Church. So, Monica shows us - never give up.
And she also teaches us, as was once said by Fr. John Moneypenny, I know God exists because prayer works.
St. Monica, teach me perseverance and faith in the efficacy of prayer. Join me in my intentions for one to be healed and be made holy. I ask this and all things through Christ, Our Lord. Amen. (+)
A song for the person so hurt; I heard this today after many years: