Heading out to Newport, RI for a little R&R for the next few days. I love it there and am very blessed to have a sister who lives in Middletown, although I do get my own place every summer which I will enjoy later on.
Thought I was going to set some posts up for when I was gone, but time has slipped me by, so there will be a hiatus until Monday.
Here is a picture to show why I love it there in case you have never been...
Interview in Regina Magazine to the amazing love and mercy of God and the way in which He transforms us.
Jennifer’s Tale – Part 1
Many post-abortive women suffer from psychic pain. Most have not understood the degree to which they were victimized – by a ‘dating’ ethos which insists that promiscuity is ‘empowering’, by the men who bully them into aborting, by a society which allows no room for single mothers.
Most cruelly, they are put in the position of having to accept responsibility for their abortion as if none of the above mattered. This is the underside of ‘liberation’ for women, which the mainstream media studiously ignores. A blanket of societal silence drawn over the aftermath of abortion has spelled significant pain for millions.
Now, one of these women has spoken out. A Brooklynite, a cradle Catholic, a teacher who loves children, she aborted the only child she would be able to have. REGINA Magazine accompanies Jennifer (not her real name) on her journey in this two-part article as she explains how this came to be, and the road she has traveled to heal.
REGINA: You had an abortion at age 39 because you were in the midst of a relationship which was ‘unstable’.
JENNIFER: Brian was a divorced father of one daughter. His divorce was not a pretty one, and there was a lot of turmoil and ongoing strife with his ex wife. He was also unemployed and living in his mother’s basement.
JENNIFER: I couldn’t tell you what I was thinking. We knew each other from our early college years through mutual friends and I hadn’t seen or heard about him in years. He randomly found my contact information and contacted me out of the blue. To be honest, things were tumultuous from the beginning, and it still did not deter me. Not only was he always at war with his ex-wife, he was still unresolved with his ex-girlfriend and was often fighting with her about the details of their break up.
We had started to go out recently, less than a month, when we became sexually active. Before two months had gone by, she suspected she was pregnant. She wasn’t in a good moment in her life. Many hard situations in her past had brought their toll on her, including an instance of sexual abuse, extreme poverty and other types of really cruel, emotional abuse. I was attracted to her a lot, but we weren’t in love, everything was too new for love to have grown.
At that time I didn’t want to have a kid with her, as I thought strongly it didn’t fit my plans. My plans weren’t bad plans by the way, they were plans for a stable family upbringing.
When I heard she was pregnant, I got desperate.
I felt that heavy burden of having an unplanned baby with someone I didn’t really know and trust would be too much. It was so far away from what I thought I could handle. I had so many plans as well. I thought that, for example, traveling the world as I wished would be impossible. I wouldn’t be able to go out anymore as I liked, having fun as a single guy. I wouldn’t have the possibility to feel the “joy” of being a “free spirit” in NYC anymore, one without strings attached. I didn’t want to have a baby with someone that wasn’t in love with me and I wasn’t in love with them, I didn’t want to go through the scary instability this would bring. I had a responsible father, so I wanted to be one as well, so I didn’t want to go through with having a kid that I wouldn’t know if I could be really present for him.
I thought of the worries of those who cared about me; how sad they would be for me because they had greater aspirations for their dear, but sometimes reckless Ivan. I would think that they would look at my situation as “getting stuck” with a baby with the “wrong” woman. These cold and heartless thoughts, even though somewhat reality inspired, are more importantly absent of Love. Love for the miracle of life, Love for the creator of that lie. They are absent of any faith that as hard as the situation might be, God would provide.
I thought of my childhood friends, especially those who have what one might consider a more successful and planned life, at least in terms of starting their own families. I imagined how they would look at me with pity, maybe even judgment or criticism, commenting in their get togethers, “poor Ivan messed up.”
The poison of pride.
I considered what family and friends might have thought of my situation, and these brought me much anxiety. I’m sorry to them for having thought so little of their capacity to show love and support, In other words, I thought myself and myself, more then I had ever thought of myself.
I don’t remember thinking at all of a creature in her womb whom whose father I was, so, I told her to abort. She didn’t want to at first, but I helped talk her into it. I was insistent, mostly through my own victimization.
Me, who could have sex with her like a man, was now like a scared kid telling her please not to do this to me, that it wouldn’t be good for the kid to grow up without a family that was stable. I was the victim. It was almost as if the life that would finish would be mine.
She confessed to me how she had had an abortion as a teenager and how much it had hurt her. I felt bad about it, my opinion changed a bit when I heard this, but my interest of not letting an unplanned and inconvenient child come in between my plans were just stronger.
I didn’t fully believe abortion was killing. It was definitely a convenient “opinion,” but I believed some of it. Like most of us, I had heard all the opinions and arguments around abortion. For me, it was very much just a decision to be made if one didn’t feel ready to have a kid.
The girl then made a decision to go with it. She went to a clinic and had our baby aborted.
We both did a grievous act of violence against life. We killed.
The moment I heard from her, “IT WAS DONE,” I knew something terrible had happened. I felt cold and desperate inside. I became so sorry. Sorry to her, sorry for what could have been, sorry to God, the one who Created me and that little creature in her womb, He that gives us this life, this miracle of Life.
Life is sacred. We don’t create it in a factory, it’s given to us. This is not a religious view as much as a reality. By me encouraging her to go through this, and her doing it, I cut off a part of myself.
I was so desperate the moment we went through the abortion. Now I see more clearly all these anxieties and other destructive emotional and psychological effects are natural consequences of such a violent act.
I fell into the “if we could think this over again” cycle, but, it was done.
I’m sorry for all those that are reading this, and that have to face this act in their own lives. Many people who have regretted aborting their babies DON’T want others to go on thinking an abortion is what many channels and mediums make us believe. Something as easy and rational as a choice, one more decision in our well-planned lives. IT IS NOT.
It’s an act of brutal violence, that like any other act of violence, leaves its marks. I hope that those who honestly think abortion is just a choice grow in heart and in mind, so that they can recognize its killing. My God I am sorry.
Before, I would make fun of the word sin, it sounded fanatical I thought (and sadly it is used and manipulated by many fanatics). That’s when I turned for God’s help.
Words like “sinner” and “mercy” became real in my life. There was no way of justifying this. I begged for help. I asked God for forgiveness. It came from my heart, like a little scared kid. Only during this act, I would find some peace. As I earnestly asked Him to please forgive me for what I had done, I would feel protected.
Whenever I started to justify the act in my mind this sense of peace would go away. My mind would think, “but Ivan, at least you don’t have to go through your family anxieties of …” And I would get full of Guilt. Then, I would say, “I’m so sorry Father, for what I have done, please I beg you forgive me, forgive us” and I would feel sane.
I now believe stronger than ever, when our hearts cry out to God, asking for forgiveness, He forgives. When we ask God honestly form our hearts and conscience for help, He helps. I’m writing this hoping it might raise some light or awareness regarding the urgent issue of abortion.
For me personally, the core of our stance regarding abortion has nothing to do with being a Democrat or a Republican, pro-Obama or pro-Romney, or even if abortion is a constitutional right or not. For me it has to do with life, it has to do with committing a crime that will create a strong harm, a harm I believe, we don’t really understand. By God we are limited!
Some have expressed their worries that my stance might undermine the role of therapy. My answer to that concern is that I’m not against or for therapy. I am for ANYTHING that brings compassion and understanding to our hearts and conscience. Yet, for our own well being, I am not for methods that lead us to justify our acts without somewhat honestly accepting what has happened. This acceptance will never be perfect, but I believe our efforts will not go unseen.
So it’s not about saying REPENT! as a voice of hatred. It’s about saying REPENT! as voice of honesty, of being sorry for what we have done, of being afraid of losing the love of God, of knowing we have offended someone in some way, of knowing we have done something against life, of wanting what everybody wants, being close to the warmth of the unconditional Love of God.
Because then why would we need Forgiveness, if we think no wrong has been done?
I don’t wish for anybody to face their acts without a real companion next to them, someone who instead of shouting the hatred of a judgmental mind will stand with them to tell them earnestly, I’m your friend and I won’t abandon you. Their appreciation helped me through those times.
GOD HELP ME, JESUS CHRIST, HELP US ALL, ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO ARE IN MOST NEED OF YOUR MERCY. BY GOD I BELIEVE IN YOU MORE THEN EVER, THANKS BE TO GOD.
Anybody can tell me now, me included, Ivan, but if you had had the baby,you probably would have a much harder life then now. My family relationships would have changed, many of my pleasures would have had be sacrificed. I would be now with greater stress and legitimate material and emotional worries. And these are accurate statements. But, once I started believing in God, none of these things are justification anymore. I pray to Jesus that helps me be strong, so that he makes my heart less cold and more loving and generous. And when my prayers are answered, my God, I feel sorry about what has been done. Thanks God for this! So Yes, it would have been hard. A strong burden at times. I would have to work more, cut on vacations, deal with a relationship that didn’t start as she and I would have like, deal with my own displeasure of not having the family I and most of us dream of. Yet, all these thoughts, are so pessimistic because they forget that I would have loved my kid.
So I say again, sorry God, I should have done so many things different, I should have TRUSTED YOU would help me, helped us, as you help all those in need.
Among the greatest gifts we can have in this life is that of trust in God. When things get hard and we can’t pay rent, we regret things we have done, our loved ones reject us and make us feel alone; if then we can have confidence in that loving Father Jesus showed us how much sweeter life would be. How much less we would sin and offend Him, if we believed and trusted Him.
A selfish mind and hard heart, one that on top of everything, has no belief in the all goodness of God, well, easily finds abortion as a CHOICE, a rational CHOICE.
As I look to face my mistakes with more responsibility I tell you my belief in God is every day less of a notion and more of a reality, something to be lived. Never doubt His Mercy!
After all this time has passed since the abortion, I felt it would be another irresponsible act to just sit without voicing the hardship and guilt that this experience causes, specially knowing where abortion stands now in the world. The numbers are frightening. Around 1.2 million a year in the United States. It’s a slaughter house. Sorry to God.
We make these decisions of killing under a veil of selfishness and ignorance that is nothing but fearful and damaging. We can justify in so many ways it’s scary, but all this justification forgets what an abortion is, killing a living being, a baby. Now please, read this with all seriousness because I mean it with all my heart and mind. I hope and pray these words bring awareness, and not condemnation. They are hard, because the reality of abortion is harder. Maybe I’m not ready to actually see it for what it really is. They are hard, because I took it so lightly, that I don’t want anybody else to take it so lightly. I know many of you have a clearer conscience regarding this issue, but many of you don’t, and would go with this DECISION without realizing what it is you are doing.
If these words do bring hurt and fear into to you because of your own past, it is only in honest repentance that you will be able to speak from your heart to God, and ask him please to forgive your sin. And when we do that, I have no doubt he forgives us.
I wish to remember in this confession the poorest people in the United States; single mothers and their children. I’m not a woman and I’m not a single mother. I don’t feel their desperation and their despair, yet it’s all around us when we walk on our streets. Abortion is a choice many of them take, and it leaves hard consequences and deeper wounds then we can see. They need help, spiritual help, material help. I pray to God he makes me and you and instrument of his love, of his peace, of his forgiveness.
Abortion is an evil, and I pray you and I can see this everyday more clearly. I pray we find the courage and inspiration to help build an environment that will eradicate such acts of violence. I pray we can help others find the peace. It’s a lot of work to be done. It cannot be done alone. It cannot be done without faith.
I am thankful for this prayer, prayed at the beginning of masses; if you find it in your heart hopefully you can pray it as well for yourself and all those who need it:
I confess to almighty Godand to you, my brothers and sisters,that I have *greatly sinnedin my thoughts and in my words,in what I have doneand in what I have failed to do,through my fault,through my fault,through my most grievous fault;therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin,all the Angels and Saints,and you, my brothers and sisters,to pray for me to the Lord our GodAmen
May the Love of Jesus Christ, through the power of his Holy Spirit, bring healing to our world.
"Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy"
This is a post from about six years ago from the end of year Entering Canaan retreat at Camp St Joseph which focused on the Sacred Heart...
We had a beautiful weekend retreat at Camp St Joseph. It is such a peaceful place to end the retreats until September and as always the Sisters are so generous to us.
We had a wonderful sharing in regard to the virtues and abortion...This year I picked the theme "Give Me your Heart - and make it part of mine", a focus on the Sacred heart of Jesus. Each woman received a heart with a virtue listed on the back and some questions to ponder before group in relation to healing from abortion.. After group we inserted our hearts into Jesus Sacred Heart.
Here are a couple of pictures:
Then of course there is the beauty of the nature around camp and the chance to spend time together
and then of course, there was our singing around the camp fire...in spite of the rain!
Thank you God for a wonder refreshing healing weekend!
The medical professionals told me from the very beginning, in 1979, that there was no such thing as negative mental health issues from my abortion. They were very sure of this and it left me feeling that I was an aberration. But why was I so depressed? Why did I feel I could not go on?
I started therapy after the abortion and my psychiatrist felt that I was a danger to myself and had me admitted to a psychiatric unit of a major New York hospital. They tried anti depressants, shock therapy and anti-psychotic drugs. But the depression never lifted. My husband’s death at the time when my aborted baby was to have been born was further proof to me that what I had done was desperately wrong and I was convinced that it was punishment for the abortion.
I was now the sole person responsible for my two sons who were three and eight years old when my husband died. I had no time to think about the depression and it wasn’t until my youngest son went away to college that it all unfolded again. And again the professionals told me it was my imagination. There were no psychiatric complications from having an abortion they said. I found out though after “Entering Canaan” that I was not alone. There were thousands, if not millions of women who were suffering from post-abortion stress. Knowing this and meeting other women who were suffering and were on their journey towards healing saved my life.
In the beginning of my healing journey, I continued my psychiatric therapy. I was in group therapy and one night I told about my abortion and what my experience had been. There were seven of us in the group and after I had spoken, each person in the group had something to say. One woman had an abortion when she was much younger because she felt that her mental illness would have been a deterrent to her being a good mother. She regretted the abortion and always wondered whether she had made the right decision. Another woman had always wanted children, but she too had an abortion because she was afraid of the consequences from her illness. After the abortion, she could not become pregnant again and wondered whether the abortion had ruined her chances to become pregnant.
One man in the group told of his wife’s abortion before they had met and married. She was always depressed about it and he was very interested in telling her about my experience. Perhaps she could become involved with a post-abortion group also. He hoped she could. Another man spoke of a good friend of his in college who had an abortion and how it had changed her life. He always worried about her.
In the end there was only one person who was pro choice. He was not swayed by any of these experiences and was very sure that he was on the right side with his views.
I have always been amazed by this group night. Five of the seven of us had negative experiences with abortion. For me it was confirmation of my own conviction that all the years I had suffered were not a figment of my imagination. Now when I read what the American Psychiatric Association is saying about post-abortion stress and I ask myself, are they crazy? How could they possibly not be aware of all the testimonies of the many women who speak of the mental health issues associated with their abortions? So many of these women have similarities in their experiences and these stories confirm each other. Can it all be coincidence? I think not.
Praised be to God Mary finally found her healing..she has since passed away. RIP Mary - your faith and perserverance were amazing. we miss you! Pray for us!
Entering Canaan Entering Canaan is comprehensive post abortion ministry consisting of Day of Prayer & Healing, weekend Retreats and monthly Gatherings. It also includes a yearly "Mercy Renewal Retreat" which enables those involved in the ministry to come aside each year to grow more deeply in their healing and faith.
Lumina Hope & Healing After Abortion A post abortion ministry of Good Counsel, Inc., Lumina provides groups, retreat days, trainings, public speaking, & referrals to post abortion ministries, professional therapists and clergy.
Abortion Recovery International ARIN is an affiliate association, dedicated to connecting and assisting like-minded abortion recovery centers, programs and services; as well as individuals working within the field.
Ramah International Assistance for those hurting from post abortion syndrome through communication, resources, and local referrals.
Project Rachel The Catholic Church's healing ministry for those who have been involved in abortion.
National Office of Reconciliation and Healing A network of researchers and psychotherapeutic professionals working in the field within the U.S. and abroad, consulting on the formation of post-abortion support services within secular and religious settings.
Rachel's Vineyard Rachel's Vineyard retreats combines a unique and creative process for psychological and spiritual healing.
Safe Haven Ministries Safe Haven is a peer site for those who have had abortions to find comfort, hope, understanding, and healing.
Ramah International – Sydna Masse’s Blog
Ramah International, Inc. was founded by Sydna A. Masse, a post-abortive woman who experienced God’s healing touch eleven years after her abortion through a crisis pregnancy center’s ministry program.
After Abortion Life after abortion: News, opinion, personal experience, resources