Are you, or a man you know, suffering the loss of a child through abortion? There is hope. There is healing. An Entering Canaan Men's Day of Prayer & Healing for men suffering from the aftermath of abortion is scheduled for October 7, 2017. The day will be hosted by Lumina & The Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. Join us and begin your journey to healing.
“The Post Abortive Men’s Retreat enabled me to confront the reality of what I had done many years ago. At the end of the retreat, the facts had not changed, but I had. A recurring nightmare of more than 30 years, in which the police kept arresting me for a murder I couldn’t remember, suddenly stopped and has never returned. The Men’s Retreat was a day of grace and redemption for me.” ~Martin
So, last night I saw a post on face book by a Catholic saying all women who have abortions should get the death penalty. A statement like this is disturbing on so many levels, but mostly in thinking that those who are seeking forgiveness will see it, and truly believe Gods mercy is not for them.
It is not the first time I have heard something like this, unfortunately, it can be quite common. There have been many times when even people I know have made statements condemning those of us who have participated in abortion. I personally cringe when I think of the despair it can throw someone into who is already hating themselves and at the cusp of despair. Statements like this take away all hope. That is a very dangerous thing to do to someone.
Yes, abortion is always wrong, but only God can know how responsible each person is. Even if they were truly responsible if they have repented and have true sorrow God longs to forgive them. That is why Jesus came to earth, to die for our sins and open heaven to us, even the sin of abortion.
The other level of that statement that is so sad is that the person who made it, obviously does not know Gods mercy . We are all sinners in need of it.
Judge the sin, not the sinner, only God can do that, and we all need to be careful because we never know what sins we ourselves have caused.
So, if you have had an abortion and happened to see that post, do not despair. I promise you there are countless numbers of us who have found God's love, forgiveness and mercy and we can promise you it is there for everyone who desires it!
There are a lot of things wrong with the world. Drug and alcohol abuse are rampant, cities are becoming increasingly violent, and human on human crimes are becoming more and more common.
What do you think of when I say "human on human crimes?" Maybe you think of things like human trafficking or abuse. While both of these things are greatly wrong, there is another issue that needs to be more urgently addressed. Abortion. Abortion is a a great crime against humanity. Science tells us that abortion is certainly a human on human crime, but the people who call themselves "pro-choice" would have you believe otherwise. They claim that abortion is a human right belonging to pregnant women, but I challenge that claim. I say that abortion is a clear moral tragedy that needs much more attention than it currently receives.
As of 2009, 51% of Americans considered themselves to be pro-life, or anti-abortion, while 42% of Americans considered themselves to be pro-choice, or pro-abortion. 51% of Americans being anti-abortion is something worth celebrating, but unfortunately it isn’t enough. Abortion still isn’t seen as something appalling. Not enough people recognize the growing urgency to challenge pro-abortion views. Over 3,000 abortions will have occurred today in the United States alone. That’s over 3,000 lives lost. Most of these abortions occur at around 7 week’s gestation. At 7 weeks, the pre-born child has brain waves and a heart-beat. The child at this age has little developing hands, feet, and ears. While all of these things provide some validation to the humanity of pre-born children, they do not give them their value. Their value lies in the fact that they are tiny human beings made in the image and likeness of God.
As if it is not enough that abortion takes the lives of developing pre-born babies, it also does a great deal of harm to mothers, fathers, and even siblings. Post abortion syndrome or "PAS" affects women who have had abortions and is a form of post-traumatic stress disorder. A person with PAS may experience feelings of guilt, anxiety, numbness, and depression among many other things.
Post-abortion survivor syndrome or "PASS" affects people who have lost pre-born siblings, especially those who have had siblings aborted. These surviving siblings often feel that someone is missing from their family, even if they do not know about any past abortions in the family. If a surviving sibling does someday find out about an aborted sibling, they may face feelings of depression and guilt. The loss of the sibling is often felt acutely. Many will question why they are alive and their sibling is not. The need to grieve for the lost sibling is also common. Although they are very few, there are fortunately some places that provide healing programs for post-abortive parents and siblings. Even though these programs exist, more light still needs to be shone on the issue, as these syndromes are not well recognized.
Another thing that is not well recognized is the humanity of the pre-born child. Children in the womb are often given terms and called names that disgrace and dehumanize them in a shameful way. It is absurd that some should be led to believe that the pre-born baby is not a human. From the point of conception, this new individual has human DNA and resides in a human womb. To call it anything else besides a human being is not scientifically justifiable. 22 days from conception the heart chambers of the pre-born baby are developing. At 32 days, a primitive vertebrae is forming. At 45 days, the child’s heart is beating two times as fast as its mothers. At 52 days, the retina of the eye, the nose, and the fingers are developing quickly. A little being growing this fast is obviously alive.
Some may argue that a person has a right to do with their body what they see to be fit. Specifically, that a woman has the right to extinguish the life she created, if it so pleases her. This is typically called bodily autonomy in the abortion debate. It may sound learned to say that a woman has a right to her bodily autonomy, but in reality, it is a quite unfounded claim. Putting restrictions on the things we may do with our bodies is something very common. Our bodies are a part of our beings, we use them to carry out tasks. The things we do with our bodies may be moral, or immoral. Typically, there are laws set to make sure that no immoral act is carried out with our bodies, and these acts are punishable due to the laws that have been set. There are some thing we cannot do, and there are also certain things we have a duty to carry out. For example, it is legally punishable for a person to starve their child. Parents are responsible for the well-being of their children. I believe that a woman who partakes in a procreative act and becomes pregnant, has a duty to carry her child and decide to either raise it or give it up for adoption. The child she is carrying has its own body, and the only place it will thrive is in its mother’s womb. It is only fair to let it grow until the time comes for the woman to give birth. Now, if the bodily autonomy claim was carried out to its logical extent, all laws and guidelines would have to be abolished, otherwise people would not be able to carry out their free will and make the choices they want to make. This is, obviously, a very dangerous conclusion to come to, and fortunately the only people who give much credit to bodily autonomy is the pro-abortion crowd.
With 42% of the population being pro-choice, it raises the question of what we are to do to change the hearts and minds of these people, so that pre-born babies will finally have a chance. In short, I believe that the best way to change the public’s mind is to educate them and wake them up to reality.
As we have already established, abortion is clearly a moral tragedy that needs more attention. When I say that abortion needs more attention, I don’t mean dressing it up in hot pink and calling it a choice. I mean displaying the cold hard facts - boldly. We cannot, and must not, be afraid to stand up for pre-born children. These babies have no voice of their own. Their families who are supposed to protect them, are being deceived into believing that there is nothing to protect. Remind them of what pregnancy really means! It’s a new human being! It’s exciting and natural! But, most of all, it is something to be respected. Pregnancy is not a disease so we need to stop treating it that way. An unplanned pregnancy is not the end of the world. There are people who can and will help anyone in a crisis situation, without doing something that will result in severe emotional trauma for everyone involved.
The steps to be taken are really very simple. All you need to do is dive head first into the whole mess of the abortion debate. This may sound scary, but what I mean by saying this is that you must educate yourself. Educating yourself these days is easy. We have the internet, and easy access to libraries so there is no excuse for ignorance of the facts of abortion. This world is full of people who are dedicating their lives to saving babies, and these people are publishing books, and writing great articles exposing abortion. These same people are going and spending their days sitting outside of abortion clinics praying for the women who are about to have a simple medical procedure done that will quite possibly ruin their lives. There are websites used for the sole purpose of educating people about abortion and the abortion industry. Learn your facts, and know them well. Know what the pro-abortion side believes, and learn to refute their arguments in a way that will make them want to be a part of the growing 51% of anti-abortion people in this country. We all have the power to end abortion, we just need to use it!
My goal is to have at least one person reading this to be righteously angry about abortion. So angry, that as soon as you finish reading this, you begin educating yourself about it, so that you can make a real effort to end abortion once and for all. I want you to be so passionate about ending abortion that you empathize with the scared mothers who feel that the only path they can take is the path that will cut off her child’s life.
The benefits are clear. You can be a voice to the voiceless. You can save lives. But the question is, will you?
Boy, does that phrase trigger memories of my daughter’s death by abortion. Twenty-seven years later, the painful memories still come flooding back. Mary Beth and I were walking through the big department stores in the mall. It was the Saturday before Father’s Day. People were shopping for their fathers and with their fathers. Stacks of bright sport shirts, ties and golf clothing were everywhere. Large posters with pictures of handsome, happy fathers holding their beautiful children hung all over the stores.
I remember feeling as though my soul twisted and s napped. Father’s Day was very painful that year. It was as if it slammed into me and made me face that I had done; what no father should ever do – participate in the death of his firstborn daughter. How could I have denied my daughter her life? How could I have agreed to the abortion and paid for it? It was less than a month since my daughter had been aborted.
I carried that pain and guilt in secret all for many years. I never spoke to anyone about the abortion, and although I have told some family members and attended a ministry, I still have not been able to tell my own Dad about his granddaughter who was aborted.
I pray to God the Father for the grace to tell my Dad. I pray for the grace of continued healing. I pray that St. Joseph – Father of the Holy Family – leads all fathers of aborted children to God’s ministers of mercy. I also thank God for the privilege of being a father to three children in heaven, and one on earth. Lastly, I thank Him for the gift of my Dad and the loving example of fatherhood that he has given me.
“To us proud as we are, the response of Jesus could have closed us totally to Him. We would have been disposed to defend our honor at all costs. The Canaanite woman reacted in a completely different way. She does not claim her rights, but in profound humility, she decided to act with an unlimited trust that flows from an authentic recognition of her nothingness and helplessness.
O woman, great is your faith!” These words of Jesus express His admiration for this attitude. Because of this, He fulfills the petition of the Canaanite woman…you should neither lose heart nor be discouraged by the apparent absence of God’s response to your supplication. While recognizing before God the truth about yourself, don’t stop begging Him.
If God refuses…He does so for your own salvation; He wants your faith to be at a point of folly and unlimited trust.” (In the Arms of Mary-pg 98-99)
Ok…a show if hands…
How many of you believe Jesus loves you?
How many of you trust Jesus?
So, what do you have to worry about?
The truth is, we all trust up to a certain point. When we are down and out and our way does not work, we trust because we are desperate. It is then that we finally see ourselves in truth and become humble. After a while, our pride seeps in again and we start to believe we are the ones working things out and we begin once again to trust more in ourselves then Him. Especially if we are not getting what we want or what we think is best for us! I think our entire lives are spent in constantly finding out we have taken over again and handing ourselves back to Him. It is just so easy for our pride to take over without us even recognizing it. How many times have you found yourself thinking “here I am again...I cannot believe I did this or that again” I know I do all the time.
The Canaanite woman begged Jesus for her daughters healing… He rejects her, or so it seems, and worse yet He called her a dog! He confronts her with her nothingness. We would probably not react that way. Chances are, we would get insulted and try to defend ourselves, But, she does not let her pride get in the way. She knows she cannot heal her daughter…she believes He is the Messiah and accepts her nothingness
she acknowledges she is like a dog but reminds Him”even a dog eats the scraps from the masters table!”
She appealed to his goodness
She not only trusted Him to do what she wanted and believed He could do, she challenged Him!
She made it impossible for Him to say no to her and still be who He was! Goodness & mercy itself!
We could almost say, she called his bluff!
What was it that caused her to have such faith? Was it that she had seen other healings?
Was she just so desperate for her daughters healing and felt she had nothing to loose?
We don’t really know, but I do know what caused me to beg.
I was desperate and immersed in my misery- I felt I had nothing to loose because I was miserable
I think our abortions fit into thecategory of “that which we most despise in our lives”
I have often said God took my worse sin and used it to bring me to Himself
Misery is Christ knocking at the door of our hearts
I begged because I knew I could not do it..I had tried everything.I persisted because without God I had no hope left. I literally wanted to die
I was in so much pain, and .I knew He was my last chance.
I certainly fell over and over again...I had no clue about Jesus or his love. I was learning for the 1st time..going on what others told me.
My life was in darkness..I remember a poem I wrote when I was just beginning to get glimpses of Jesus: It was titled “Im Searching in the dark to find you Lord”
I’m searching the dark to find you Lord,
Where are you?
I know you’re there.
The Church tells me…
Friends tell me…
You must be there.
I’m searching in the dark to find you Lord.
Where are you?
You must be there.
I felt you Lord.
One time for days.
It was wonderful. They were right.
I’m searching in the dark to find you Lord.
Where are you?
I know you’re there.
I can’t find you Lord.
My heart is hard.
Please help me to find you Lord…I’m lost.
I’m praying in the dark to find your Lord.
Where are you?
I know you’re there.
Ah, my heart has opened.
There you are, right beside me.
I couldn’t feel you without your love.
I’m praying in the light to stay with you Lord.
Here you are.
Please help me to stay with you
So other can find you in me, and them,
As I found you in them, and myself…
I pray to accept the good and what I see as the bad, with gratitude knowing I can never be “good enough” but that I do not have to be because I believe with my whole heart In our God who comes down to us in His great love and gives us His all
We live in a very busy world. I feel I am often outside of myself catching up to where I think I should be. There just seems to be so many expectations, not only from others but those I place on myself! No wonder so many people feel stressed and under pressure! What exactly are we racing to?
We are busy, busy, busy, even periods of quiet contemplation become sources of the noise in our heads instead of the peaceful refuge they are suppose to be. I am embarrassed to admit it, but there are days when I shop during the consecration, or I am planning the events of the day in my head while the biggest miracle of the world is taking place. Most times I do not even notice I am doing it until it is over, and then I am filled with the sorrow of distraction, but also the joy of knowing I will soon receive the One who saves me from myself.
The noise of the world sometimes never seems to go away. Some days, I need to make a concerted effort to pull myself back to where I am suppose to be, in the presence of Jesus Christ.
I think we often do that in healing as well. I want to be here! Why aren’t I there yet? We can be everywhere we think we should be except for the place we really are! We are sure we know the best location for ourselves, we grow impatient with our healing, and even bargain with God filling our prayers with “If only’s…”
The rush of the world, instead of the peace of Jesus Christ. But, race as we might, we will not find our healing here or there. Contrary to what the world tells us, we will not get to “be” by running around and doing all it seems to call us to do. No, healing is in the present. It is also in the presence! It is the grace of staying still and listening to His word and His will for us. It is stopping the motion so that He can reach out to touch us and give us His grace. It is in the trusting in His love for us. Healing is here and now, not down the road because this is where he calls us to be.
That of course, does not mean that we do not do what He asks us to do, to learn, to pray, to attend places that will help us, but there is a difference many times, in doing what He asks and what we want.
We’re all familiar with the children’s story of “The Three Little Pigs”. They all thought that they were pretty self sufficient. After being sent out to seek their fortune by an old sow, they each went about the business of building their own house.
The first was made of straw. As the tale goes the wolf came and sought to enter, when the pig refused, he was met with this chant, “I'll puff, and I'll huff, and I'll blow your house in”.
Blew it in he did, consuming the little pig!
Pig number two did not fare much better having built his house with sticks. Once again the wolf approached;” I'll puff, and I'll huff, and I'll blow your house in”. Sadly, the house collapsed and pig number two was added to the menu.
The third little pig was much smarter and built his house with bricks. When the wolf approached with his threats of puffing, he found that this house would not come down, and so he tempted the pig by enticing him with vegetables from the garden thinking he would be able to devour him when they met there, however the third pig was on to him, and went to the garden and back before the wolf showed up. And so the story continues as the wolf tries various plots to consume the pig, but the pig in the end is the victor as he sets a trap for the wolf that comes down the chimney into boiling water.
This children’s tale reminds me of my journey to God. I always thought I knew what was best and instead of looking for direction from God, I set out on my own only to have the “wolf” and my own personal weaknesses cause havoc in my life. I often speak of how I built my house on straw and lost everything, because God wanted me to build my house on the rock which is Him!
It took much suffering before I learned and trusted Him with my life. At times it appeared that I would never survive and that He was stripping me of all I held dear, but I grew to know what He did was for my salvation and my road map to Him.
Jesus tells us a story similar to the Three Little Pigs in Matt 7:23-27
“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock. And everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. And it collapsed and was completely ruined.” Matt 7: 23-27
May we each build our houses on the Rock, Jesus Christ, knowing that by doing so, we are safe from the prowling of the wolf and from our own weaknesses.
Theresa Bonopartis, in her book A Journey Toward Healing, offers keen insight into the effects of abortion, the real struggle to find healing, and the hope that one can be healed, as well as reunited with their aborted children. As I read her book, I felt my pain and grief was understood, in a way that only Theresa could pen because she has been there. Theresa breaks open her own wound to help others heal through her deep spiritual insights into the Merciful Love of Jesus. This book is a gift to the body of Christ, as it offers hope to those who's abortions have plunged them into self hatred and isolation. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand the post abortive and to all those who are ready to take the Journey toward healing with Theresa. This book offers the Hope! Anonymous
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