For our Hurting Children April 27, 2016
This prayer is about children I know and children in the world. I disagree with my parents, my brother, and my sister-in-law who have been disciplining the children using a “rod,” which is a cat’s paw back scratcher they use to swipe them with. They say it doesn’t hurt as much as when my brother and I were spanked with a paddle when we were children, but I can tell it stings, not just because the children start to cry. My parents and my brother and sister-in-law have been to all sorts of denominations of Protestant churches, and take from the book of Proverbs to justify their spanking: “Spare the rod, spoil the child.” But I don’t really think it should hurt that way. I converted to Catholicism about six years ago, although I do not disagree with all Protestant beliefs, and I fully understand that the Church has also used whips and rulers and the like to discipline the children with, but I just think that the cat’s paw is wrong. For my nieces and my nephew, and for all the children in the world, God, please teach us about physical pain and discipline. Dear God, they go through so much, all their little scrapes and bruises, their disappointments, and their sorrows. Please hold these children in your hands, comfort and heal them, and make them happy. They don’t want to grow up feeling like they are bad. Remember your son who was scourged even though he was a sinless lamb, and how painful it was that he was blamed for being evil when he was not. Amen.