Pope Saint John Paul II and the International Theological Commission addressed this question. The souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them. They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead; and their passing away was thought an affliction and their going forth from us, utter destruction. But they are in peace (Book of Wisdom 1:1-3).
I have always felt as though I have an army of souls of unborn babies supporting me in my work, interceding before God. I pray to them always to obtain the graces I need to do this work of leading souls to Christ and healing. In the beginning, it was just my own son whose presence I felt, but as the years have passed, I know there are millions of souls, a whole army, behind the work, constantly interceding and praying for the healing and reconciliation of their families. Many, I now know by name. I even pray in front of clinics where I know they have died. It is no longer “babies die here,” but Sally’s baby, Chris, died here, or Tom’s baby, Mary. There is a personal connection to both the child and the parent.
the rest is here (reprint from Aletia article 2014)
This is a painting by Peter Paul Rubens titled "The Virgin and Child Surrounded by the Holy Innocents". I love it because it is often the way I picture my son and all the other aborted babies in heaven...in the presence of Jesus and His mother. And although the thought of this in no way makes abortion ok, it does bring me peace to know Joshua is, as John Paul the II said in the Gospel of Life, "living with the Lord".
May our Holy Innocents along with the ones in today's Gospel, intercede for us before God ...
When the magi had departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.” Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt. He stayed there until the death of Herod, that what the Lord had said through the prophet might be fulfilled, Out of Egypt I called my son.
When Herod realized that he had been deceived by the magi, he became furious. He ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had ascertained from the magi. Then was fulfilled what had been said through Jeremiah the prophet:
A voice was heard in Ramah, sobbing and loud lamentation; Rachel weeping for her children, and she would not be consoled,
Wishing you all a very Blessed Christmas in this beautiful time of the birth of Mercy Himself.
The first Sunday of Advent marked the beginning of the "Year of Grace" in the church, which lasts until November of 2018. With all the craziness in the world we certainly can use all the grace we can get in order to reflect the love of God to those around us despite anything that we may be facing.
May you each be consumed by the Mercy & grace of God in the coming year.
May many graces abound for you all in this year of "grace" Blessings on you and your families!
Here is a Christmas reflection for those post abortive..
The shepherds were in darkness when the “Glory of the Lord shone over them” and they were bathed in light. This made them fearful. In what ways are you still afraid to look at your abortion? What behaviors still have you locked in ? Are you still punishing yourself in some way?
The angels told the shepherds “Don’t be afraid. They are told of the birth that will bring “joy to ALL the people”. Are beginning to look through the darkness of your abortion with Christ to a new full life. Do you think you are included in “ALL” the people? If not, why? If so, what has changed for you that you can share with the others?
We are told the shepherds left everything and went to Bethlehem, a movement of trust in spite of their fears, to “see what the Lord has told them”. Do you find yourself moving forward in spite of your feelings as you are growing in knowledge of the dynamics of abortion and your relationship with God? Have you been able to identify any of your own abortion connectors and if so, how are you reacting differently to situations? People?
In the humility of a child the shepherds recognized their salvation. He is not clothed in riches or in a palace, but found in a manger in poverty. Are you able to recognize the progress you have made even if it is not earth shattering.Can you see God at work in you in the little things and trust Him with your healing knowing He will heal you. Are you relinquishing control to God even though it is frightening to you as a post abortive person? Do you ask for help in your struggles from God and others who understand what you are going through?
Mary remembered all these things and thought deeply about them. She recognized God’s greatness in spite of what she saw and whatever struggles she had gone through to give birth to Christ. Do you ask her to help you to trust as she did and to lead you to Jesus?
The shepherds went back “singing praises to God for all they had heard and seen”. We often become hung up in our post abortive thinking and base our lives on emotions rather than reality. Do you thank Him for everything, even the pain of healing, knowing He loves you? Do you “sing praises for all you have seen and heard?”
“It had been just as the angel had told them.”
May we, like the shepherds, seek out and find Christ in the poverty of our hearts this Christmas
“Keep vigil!” was Francis key message today. “Be mindful of the difference the Lord’s coming (or not) makes in us. Is there a place for the Lord, or only for parties, for shopping, for revelry ... Is our soul open, as is Holy Mother Church and as was the Virgin Mary? Or is our soul rather closed, with a “Do Not Disturb!” sign hung on the door to it?”(12/23/2013)
Crazy at it seems, the approach of Christmas is probably one of my least favorite times of year. Don’t get me wrong, it has nothing to do with the birth of Christ of which I am eternally grateful. Instead, it has more to do with the pressures of the secular world.
No matter how hard I try to get things done ahead of time, or keep my focus where I would like it to be, I constantly seem to be doing a check list in my head. A great distraction to the real meaning of Christmas.
I do not have a “Do Not Disturb” sign, but when He enters my “inn” is so crowded with other guests I cannot even make my way to His presence. I feel like I am at a party seeing the one person I want to speak with across the room, but I am unable to get there because of the crowds.
Don’t get me wrong, I love to see family and friends, but as with many other families, Jesus is often not the reason for the season! Sadly, it is like this every year, that is why I love the fact Christmas consists of many days!
Once the presents are opened and the wordly celebrations are over, in the quiet manger of my soul filled with it poverty, I am able to welcome the presence of the baby Jesus and contemplate this birth of Mercy Himself. I am reminded of why He came to earth and the great gift of our salvation found in his suffering, death, and resurrection.
If you are suffering from a past abortion, and have hung a “Do Not Disturb” sign on your soul because of fear of condemnation, take it down this Christmas season and put out your welcome mat! Meditate on the mystery of our redemption born to us this Holy Season.
You may not feel it yet, but “Emmanuel, God is with Us!”, come for the redemption of our sins, even the sin of abortion!
And I understood that the greatest attribute is love and mercy. It unites the creature with the Creator. This immense love and abyss of mercy are made known in the Incarnation of the Word and in the Redemption [of humanity], and it is here that I saw this as the greatest of all God's attributes (St Faustina)
I can still remember it as if it were yesterday, making Christmas stocking for my nieces and nephews the Christmas immediately following my abortion. That was over 45 years ago, yet I remember those stockings vividly; the materials, the graphics, the pain of sewing them together as I thought of my son who would be missing from the Christmas celebration.
That agonizing pain did not leave as the years went on, although I must admit, I went into such deep denial, I was not aware that my lack of joy was a result of my abortion. Society did not acknowledge my pain and grief, and so, in order to survive, I pressed them into the recesses of my mind, and like everyone else seemed to do, denied their existence.
Over the years, no matter what my situation in life, Christmas was a time of turmoil, a dreaded event. Even with the birth of other children, many Christmas eves were spent crying, as I set up toys, not really understanding why I was feeling the way I was. This was supposed to be a time filled with joyful expectation, but I was anything but joyful.
When I finally found someone to help me through my healing process, I began to see the reason for my sadness and everything began to make sense. My “no” to life became magnified by Mary’s “yes”. I also was all too aware of the absence of toys that would never be brought by Santa and placed under our tree for my aborted son, and the emptiness of the space at the family holiday table seemed to scream at me. There was no room for the birth of Jesus in the stable of my heart. It was deadened because of my sin.
In time, through counseling, prayer and a great spiritual director, I learned to take my eyes off of the “me” in Christmas, and instead turn my gaze to “Him”, Jesus Christ. As healing came, I meditated on the mystery of the Incarnation instead of my abortion, and instead of focusing on what was missing in human terms, I turned my gaze to the spiritual, Mercy Himself!
Instead of a dreaded holiday, Christmas became the opening chapter of the means of my salvation. God come to earth as an infant to take our sins, even my sin of abortion, upon Himself so that we may be saved. Mercy Himself was born and through His life, death and resurrection the gates of heaven were opened to repentant sinners
There have been over 60 million abortions in the United States since 1973. As the Catholic Bishops call for increased outreach to those post abortive, let us be ever mindful of the countless women and men who have not yet found healing and with St Faustina proclaim to them, “How great is the Mercy of God contained in the Mystery of the Incarnation of the Son of God!”!
The Advent and Christmas seasons can be particularly painful for those are post abortive. Everything around resounds of children .As the Christian world waits in joyful anticipation for the birth of the Christ child; it can become a painful reminder of the children we did not allow to be born. Just looking at the baby Jesus in the manger scene can cause great anxiety. Just the sight of the Christ child often brings darkness, shame, guilt and a paralyzing fear.
The secular world can be a strong abortion connector as well. As we are bombarded with the year’s hottest toys, we can’t help but reflect on our children who have been deprived of opening toys on Christmas morning, or the empty place at the Christmas table missing the son or daughter we chose to abort
As the world is celebrating and basking in the idea of “Peace on Earth, Goodwill toward Men”, many who are post abortive feel nothing but spiritual and emotional isolation void of peace, tormented by their past actions.
In the midst of all this however, is the true joy and message of Christmas…that God sent His only Son – the Word made Flesh, to dwell among us and free us from our sins. Through the birth of the Christ child in the poverty of the manager, the means of our salvation is present and our reconciliation with God, our children and yes, our selves are obtainable. And even though our children are not physically present to us, they share in the joy of the birth of Christ, who came to free us from our sins, even our sin of abortion. They desire our salvation so that we can join them in everlasting life with Christ.
Luke 2: 8-20 There were some shepherds in that part of the country …. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone over them. They were terribly afraid, but the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid! I am here with good news for you, which will bring great joy to all the people. This very day in David’s town your Savior was born-Christ the Lord! And this is what will prove it to you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.
Suddenly a great army of heavens angels appeared with the angel, singing praises to God:
“Glory to God in the highest heaven; and peace on earth to those with whom he is pleased!”
When the angels went away from them back into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has told us.”
So, they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph and saw the baby lying in the manger. When the shepherds saw him, they told them what the angel had said about the child. All who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said. Mary remembered all these things and thought deeply about them.
The shepherds went back, singing praises to God for all they had heard and seen; it had been just as the angel had told them.
We are told the shepherds were “terribly afraid” when the “glory of the Lord shone over them”; perhaps because they were then able to truly see their sins, a fear that many of us feel when it comes to looking at the truth of our abortions. However, the angels told them “Don’t be afraid”…the birth of Christ will bring joy to ALL the people. Not just a select few, but everyone who seeks Him out. In spite of their fear at what they would find, the shepherds left everything and went to Bethlehem, to seek the Christ child, a movement of trust in spite of any feelings they were experiencing.
Once in the presence of the humility of the Christ child, they recognized Him as the way to their salvation and went back “singing praises for all they had seen and heard for “It had been just as the angel had told them”
This advent and Christmas season, as we wait for and celebrate the birth of Jesus, may we follow the example of the shepherds, and seek out and find Christ in the poverty of our hearts, for it is there that we also will be forgiven and reunited with our children who are now “living in the Lord” (EV)
"We can think that Mary, perfectly humble, recognized that she was capable of committing all possible sins. Someone who is truly humble never believes that there are any sins that, with all certainty, one could not commit. God saw the depth of her humility: the abyss of her misery on one side and the abyss of her trust on the other side. For this, '...he has looked upon his handmaid's lowliness.' He preserved her from any sin and filled her with Himself." In the Arms of Mary, pg. 151
If there is one thing I have learned from my abortion, it is that I am capable of any sin. It is a stark reality once we come face to face with the gravity of our sin.
I am grateful to know that. It allows me to see my dependence on God for everything, especially any good I may do.
When I am judged and condemned as a woman who has had an abortion, I always think, ”they are right," I am a terrible sinner, but it also makes the incredible mercy of God so much more alive because I know what He has done for me.
I pray that those who condemn post abortive women also recognize that they too are capable of any sin but for the grace of God. If Mary herself was aware of this all of us should be, for it is only then that we truly understand the life of Christ as we await His birth this Advent; He who came to call sinners... all of us!
Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you!
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