11 April 2022
A young girl harboured a mixture of hatred and pity for a bad tempered older sibling who would hit her regularly.
At the time when we met, she was seeing a counsellor. Her family dynamics were also volatile.
As she ranted on, I realised she not only needed protection from her brother’s beatings, but also from her own fears & what she might do to him. She was an alert and well built girl whom I believed would have no problem picking up a sharp object and plunging it into her attacker if she was provoked beyond her tolerance.
After learning that she could recite the “Hail Mary,” prayer by heart, I asked if she would consider invoking Mother Mary’s help as soon as she sensed a conflict brewing.
I explained to her that some things in life are beyond logic, and there is a limit to what external intervention can do for us. Prayers are needed to do the inner work of calming hearts and deflecting blows.
Shortly after that, the girl told me that one weekend her older sibling was having a meltdown again.
This time instead of feeling scared and anticipating a fight as he moved towards her, she just looked at him and recited “Hail Mary” silently.
“My brother was walking towards me when he suddenly stopped, turned and left my room ,” the girl narrated the episode with a mixture of awe & gratitude.
Sister & brother would also begin talking after that encounter.
To some, the girl’s offering of a prayer to diffuse a potentially explosive situation could have been coincidental, but the benefit of knowing that there are other ways of facing difficulties in life besides hating those who cause us pain, must have been such a relief for that young lady.
Yesterday was Palm Sunday and in a few days’ time it’ll be Good Friday. On this day the mother of Jesus would witness attacks on her son. This may be why the memory of a young girl invoking the help of Mother Mary has come to me, for they are quintessential examples of grace under pressure.
May all who suffer from war, sickness & separation be delivered from fears & pain. And may all who engage in hurt & harm be touched by grace & awakened by wisdom.🙏