Showing posts with the label Healing for victims of violence

"In Cold Blood:" Heartache and Violence

  Photo of Holcomb, Kansas courtesy of I decided to read Truman Capote's 1966 book  "In Cold Blood" because I have become intrigued by his close friend, Nelle Harper Lee. Lee wrote the luminous novel "To Kill a Mockingbird," which I teach every year to high school freshmen and her character Dill Harris is modeled on her childhood friend, Truman Capote. Lee, now 86 and living a private life in her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama, never has published another book. I wanted to know her better and I figured I might find traces of her in Capote's nonfiction novel.  I haven't researched how much of her fingerprints are on this book of richly drawn characters, real people whose presence has remained with me days after finishing this book. Keep Reading...

My Peace I Give You: Healing Sexual Wounds with the Help of the Saints

Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. ~Apocalypse 13:10 My Peace I Give You by Dawn Eden is a much-needed spiritual resource for those recovering from any type of physical or emotional suffering brought on by the lust, crassness or cruelty of others. It took a long time to read because I had to stop and take time to ponder and absorb, reading several parts of it over again. Not only is Dawn's book well-written but every contention is backed up by solid references. With modesty and restraint, she confronts a topic uncomfortable to many. The misuse of the gift of life-giving sexuality has scourged multiple lives and institutions, not the least of which is our Holy Catholic Church. Too often amid the scandals, the wounded do not receive the treatment which they need in order to heal. This book, coming from the long and painful recovery of a survivor of abuse, will be a grace for many who are hurting from similar wounds. Hopefully, it will inspire all who read it to t

Planting Seeds in the Face of Discouragement, and Then, Shooting Deaths

Maybe it was transitioning back to our work and home routines after a three-day getaway with my family, but this morning felt as gray as the skies. It snowed as I drove to work and then it rained while I was teaching classes. I teach struggling learners and I like to think I make a difference. But today was a day when I felt discouraged. What am I doing wrong? What can I do differently? How can I help each and every student want to learn and succeed at learning? Keep Reading...

Amid Lockdowns, Christ is Coming

As a public school teacher in the United States, I am accustomed to lock-down drills. In fact, as it happened, we had one Friday. We have one once a month, as the state of New Jersey requires. We have "non fire evacuations" and "lockdowns" and "active shooter" drills. The teens in my care know what to do; we turn off the lights, we lower the shades, we huddle in a corner and we stay quiet and we wait until the all clear. I can see from the news coverage that those kindergartners and their teachers were trained too, on how to deal with a shooter in the building.... Read more here...

In the Wake of a School Massacre, the Smallest Actions of Love

The murder of 26 innocents in a Newtown, Connecticut elementary school and the suicide of the shooting suspect are evils I am unable to absorb. I struggle to even pray about this. Words feel inadequate. Instead, yesterday and today, I have tried to make my actions my prayers, focusing on the children put in front of me: my own children, their friends, and the dozens of students I teach. Is this self-absorption?  Keep Reading...

A Priest's Prayer Opens the Door to A Conversation about Merc

As you might know, my husband is a  trauma survivor   who faces post-traumatic stress disorder. Greg somehow survived the Sept. 11 terror attacks and he also lost dozens of colleagues. He and I continue to consider what it all means. We both have what we call "trauma fatigue" meaning we are not able to immerse ourselves in the details of other acts of inhumanity, such as the deadly violence that occurred in an Aurora, Colorado movie theater last week. We haven't watched the nonstop cable news reports, or read any of the extensive newspaper coverage. Keep Reading...

It's Time to Move On

And the Rock Was Christ My family is entering another chapter in our life. It’s time to sell my mom’s house and move her into a condo. It’s a rite of passage in Florida and one I hoped we wouldn’t have to do. I think she’ll be happier. Financially it’s a good move; she’ll be closer to my sister and I …. but it’s the house that holds the last memories of my father and it’s where 28 years ago my mother catered our wedding reception. All evening a good friend played for the guests in our living room on my childhood baby grand piano. In the entrance of the house my mother still has a vase of artificial roses designed by the florist that survived all the weathering of our years together. They stand like a testament to the grace of God that that house was built on the Rock of Christ and that’s the reason we all still stand. The foyer with the gray slate is perhaps my personal reminder of how long of a journey it’s been, and how much I treasure the memories that house has guarded for so many