downloadable PDF: Women of Faith Resources July 2019
by Margaret Felice in A Book of Grace-filled Days
“We believe we are in God’s loving presence; sometimes we must call on our senses to deepen that awareness.” (p. 220)
“Sometimes prayer satisfies by helping us see what we truly desire: contentedness in God’s presence and delight in its pursuit.” (p. 223)
“To pay attention to God working in our lives is to constantly be surprised.” (p. 228)
Featured Day: July 30 – World Day of Human Trafficking
World Day against Trafficking in Persons, an annual event, will be held on July 30, 2019.
It was initiated by the United Nations at a General Assembly on December 18, 2013. People trafficking is a worldwide problem with very few countries immune to this modern day slavery. The event, initiated by the United Nations, raises awareness and increases prevention of human trafficking. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has chosen “responding to the trafficking of children and young people” as the focus of this year’s World Day.
Thousands of men, women, and children end up yearly in the hands of traffickers. They often believe that they are being taken to a place and to a job that will make their family better off. It frequently happens that they are taken through force or kidnapped. Sometimes, families who are poor, sell children in order to survive. There are many ways that people get caught up in trafficking.
Trafficked women and children are forced to work, often doing hard labor. Women are often caught in prostitution. They are taken to unfamiliar countries where they don’t know the language and have no way of getting help or of communicating with their families.
A global problem needs a global solution. This is why the United Nations organized the World Day against Trafficking in Persons: to raise awareness and encourage vigilance. They have produced a protocol to punish human trafficking and are hoping to implement a global act to protect victims of trafficking.
For additional information on human trafficking: True Activist
Lectio Divina: Scripture and prayer for meditating
Read the following selection a first time. What word or words call out to you? Read the selection a second time. Ask the words or words calling to you: “What is it you want to say to me today?”
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)
“The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free.” (Luke 4:18)
Jesus, Companion of the Trafficked
Every hour of the day, traffickers lurk and prey
On the innocent and most vulnerable of our society:
The abused and the runaway girls and boys,
The homeless and the transgender youth,
The migrants and the refugees.
Every hour of the day, traffickers sweet-talk their victims
with persuasive promises of legitimate and legal work, educational opportunities, and a better life.
Every hour of the day, traffickers mold their victims
into child prostitutes, child soldiers, sex workers,
domestic slaves, and forced laborers,
and drum into them, “We own you. No one cares what happens to you.”
Every hour of the day, traffickers burden their victims
with layers of fear; deprive them of food and sleep;
force them under the lash of beatings; rape, torture, and imprisonment;
and strip them of their self-dignity and trust in humanity.
Every hour of the day, consumers of human trafficking live among us.
They come from all nations, they are rich and poor,
They are married with children,
They are world and faith leaders,
They are freedom fighters and insurgents,
And they are humanitarian workers and educators.
Like chameleons, they hide their identities and acts in plain sight,
All the while exposing their victims to physical and mental abuse.
Every hour of the day, women, children, and men cry out in anguished prayer:
“How long will our cries for help fall on deaf ears? How long will we be forgotten?”
Breathe into us their sorrows and losses.
Breathe into us their fears and despair.
Breathe into us their exhaustion and hunger.
Breathe into us their shame and humiliation.
Breathe into us their shattered trust in humanity.
Breathe into us their fragile hope to remain alive.
Jesus, Companion of the Trafficked, as we carry their suffering
May we be more vigilant protectors of all trafficked victims and survivors.
May people from every corner of the world work to hold traffickers and consumers accountable For this crime of modern day slavery. Amen.
This prayer is from the Education for Justice website. It was written by Sister Dianna Ortiz, OSU.
Audio Divina: Music accompanied by images
Enjoy the following selections and let your heart and soul be touched by the music, the words, and the rhythm.
Song of Hope – by Satinder Sartaaj was published on March 3, 2017 by UNODC – United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. The UN Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims #HumanTrafficking, managed by UNODC – United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, partnered with the music label Rukus Avenue in a landmark project called Music to Inspire. A group of more than 60 global artists came together to make a statement against human trafficking through their music.
For the entire playlist of Music to Inspire, go to: Music to Inspire – Artists United Against Human Trafficking. Fifty-four (54) videos. Last updated on Jun 19, 2019.
For Spiritual Reading
Modern Day Slavery: Human Trafficking a Worldwide, Local Issue by Patrick Szabo, May 23, 2019. Szabo helps us to see the signs of trafficking and to understand this is a hometown issue.
Shalom: International Solidarity Reflection : Human Trafficking by the School Sisters of Notre Dame, July 2019, Prepared by Sister Helen Galadima SSND, Province of Africa – Ghana, for the International Shalom Office, Rome, Italy. Graphic on front is from the Directional Statement, 24th General Chapter. Design: Congregational Communications Office. This article calls us to reflect and pray.
Visio Divina: Art for Prayer and Meditation
“Visual images are another doorway to sacred awareness. They can touch into our desire to grow in intimacy with God. So, we encourage one another to let ourselves be touched by the colors, shapes, figures and symbols that capture our attention most as we are praying. While gazing at an image ~ a painting, a photo, an icon, a sculpture, a piece of pottery … something may leap out at us, calling our attention to something of God just waiting to reveal itself to us.”
(Ideas inspired by Christine Valters Paintner and Betsey Beckman in their book, Awakening the Creative Spirit: Bringing the Arts to Spiritual Direction. See also Abbey of the Arts.)
Let this image speak to you of the suffering of being trafficked. Pray for trafficked women, men, and children.
What does this image say to you about the worldwide trafficking issue? Do you know of any cases of trafficking in your country, your state, your city or town, or maybe in your own neighborhood?
Forced Labor: http://www.trueactivist.com/reporter-was-so-disgusted-with-this-man-he-kicked-him-out-of-the-interview-gallery-t2/23/
Pray with this image. Then go online to learn more about forced labor – learn about where you might find trafficked women and children working.
Illegal Organ Harvesting: http://truedemocracyparty.net
Have you ever heard about or thought about illegal harvesting of organs? How do you feel as you consider that organs are harvested and what that means? Pray for persons who illegally harvest organs.
Forced labor, exploitation, sexual exploitation, and organ removal: pray for women and children who are used in these ways. Pray for people who engage in trafficking that they will awaken to the dignity of persons and see the light of God’s respect for all people.
Understanding and Addressing Violence against Women. Interesting facts on the health effects of human trafficking
Featured websites on the World Day Against Human Trafficking
World Day against Trafficking in Persons 30 July: This United Nations site offers background, messages, videos, and resources against human trafficking.
World Day Against Trafficking in Human Persons – Together We Can #EndHumanTrafficking: God TV invites us to join people worldwide to end trafficking especially of women and children.
US Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking: a collaborative, faith-based national network that provides education, suggests survivor services, and advocates to eradicate modern-day slavery.
With you, our readers, we let Pope Francis’ words sink deep into our hearts.
From the Leadership Team of Gatherings for Women of Faith
May this World Day Against Trafficking in Persons Touch Us Deeply!