Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Victim's Salvation

Reprinted on RenewAmerica.

The following poem is a work of fiction. Any resemblance of its characters to actual persons is entirely coincidental.
"When an evil spirit comes out of a man it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, 'I will return to the house I left.' When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first." --Luke 11:24-26

"Child" by Michael D. O'Brien
A Child
Abused

A Youth
Confused

A Woman
So used...

Now what have you actually learned
When your life has become merely a practice
Of being endlessly probed and prodded
Until you pass into blackness

Do you know everything or nothing
When your molester is so obsessed
That he forsakes the sacred for Satan
To the point you have become possessed

But finally your perverter has departed
And finally your life can begin
When the bishop sends a man of the cloth
To free you from the devil's own sin

A pro-life priest, an exorcist
par excellence, a saintly shining knight
Now entered her hopeful but fragile world
Promising to rescue her from her plight

He seemed both handsome and holy
As he interceded to Our Lord and Saviour
But all the while his smile was securing
Both his overt and her subconscious favor

For as wonderful as he was, she started to wonder
As he petitioned Christ to deliver her from Lucifer posthaste
Why, when she slipped into a trance, his hand began to touch her
In a manner she would have sworn was unchaste

Instead of using only that which was Good
To defeat this gravest of evils
He attempted to join these two opposing forces
And make God and Satan work together

He believed that the best of both worlds
Was possible for one as wise as he
A world where he could both keep his celibacy
And partake in a woman's intimacy

But was it truly possible to mix
These diverse desires of man and his Master
Or was this nebulous new-age novelty
Simply the age-old formula for disaster

She felt whole those times he would hold her
Then whisper about their future marriage
At the same time concealing from her
The other women he had similarly disparaged

Thus it wasn't until that dark night
When her full demonic possession did occur
That she came to realize that he
Was now more possessed than her

Later, after the patient intervention of her parents
And some provocative prose from the relentless reporter
The bishop finally put the ex-exorcist priest
In a place where he could no longer hurt her

Though grateful at last to be safe
She also knew "safety" wasn't the same as salvation
Could she ever again trust a man's touch
To share in her dream of the marriage vocation?

Sensing her sorrow, that same earnest journalist
Halted her tears with his lighthearted "bet"
"If the Lord could obtain a good wife for ME
He'll find the right husband for you with no sweat!"

A Priest
Concealing

The Writer
Revealing

The Woman
Now healing...

Dedicated
to all those now healing
and all those
who wish to be healed
St. Patrick's Day, 2011
-------
A special thanks to best-selling Catholic writer, Michael D. O'Brien, for the use of his ink drawing, "Child," to illustrate this poem.

3 comments :

Rose said...

I appreciate this poem because it leads one to a better understanding of a "truth" that sometimes only the art of poetry can reveal, especially for those of us who have never actually experienced the pain of sexual abuse. It also shows how the evil one tries to rob people of their hopes and dreams. Don't let him. Let God and Our Lady fight back for you. Don't ever give up!

Tom O'Toole said...

@Rose -- Very perceptive. Few people understand that sometimes truths are understood much easier through fiction or poetry than dry theology. That's why I urge my friends to read the fiction of great Catholic writers like Michael D. O'Brien (who also is a great artist) and Ralph McInerny.

Ann said...

I don't know how I missed this post.

There is nothing like hearing "Guilty!" to jump start a victim's healing process. I hope all victims get that justice.