Last week Awake Milwaukee held a moving Way of the Cross that recalled Jesus’s final hours, marking the stations with heartfelt reflections written by victim-survivors of sexual abuse and their loved ones. A recording of this virtual prayer service is available here.
Each contributor chose to write about a station that resonated for them personally. In many cases they read their reflections aloud during the service, giving the prayer added power. “For me the most moving part was hearing the depth of emotion in the voices of survivors as they read their reflections,” says Lynn Charnitz, member of the Awake Leadership Team who also helped organize this prayer event. “It allowed me to experience the passion of Jesus in a more meaningful way.”
Awake began the tradition of praying the Way of the Cross with abuse survivors during Lent 2021, with the goal of offering the Catholic community an opportunity to meditate on both the suffering of Jesus and the pain experienced by abuse survivors.
We offer a snippet of this year’s Way of the Cross below, followed by a recording of the event to use in your personal prayer this Holy Week. If you’d prefer to read along, the complete text is available here.
Walking the Way of the Cross With Survivors: The Tenth Station — Jesus Is Stripped of His Garments
Reflection by Terri
The abuse left me emotionally and spiritually naked. It started with my being objectified, an assault on my dignity. Then when I reported, I was stripped of confidence in the Church because of the shaming, minimizing, and dismissing. My social shelter was taken when I lost friends who were confused by my story and in denial about my injuries. I was singled out, alone, and exposed.
Let us pray: God of Truth Who Overcomes, we pray for your Church to have the integrity to acknowledge the truth, hear survivors, protect those in need, and facilitate restorative justice.
Jesus, hear us.
All: Jesus, be with us.