Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Tim Kaine’s Catholicism: Broken Glass and Broken Babies

Friday, July 29th, 2016

 

Tim Kaine Planned Parenthood

Tim Kaine attended Mass at his home parish St Elizabeth’s in Richmond, Va. Kaine was asked to sing in the choir, and honored to perform a solo during the communion hymn.

Kaine’s pastor Fr Jim Arsenault had this to say about his famous parishioner:

I think Tim really extends a hand to help people and is very compassionate… I think he’d be concerned about that all lives matter…And he is a bridge-builder among races and communities.

Tim Kaine’s position on abortion? From National Review:

As a senator, he has received perfect, 100 percent scores from both Planned Parenthood and the NARAL…Some political observers are already hypothesizing that he might move even further to the left and embrace taxpayer funding of abortion…

Passive Complicity in Nazi Germany

On the night of November 9, 1938, all across Hitler’s Germany violence and terror were unleashed upon the Jewish people. Over a 48 hour period, more than 250 synagogues were burned, over 7,000 Jewish businesses were destroyed, and many Jews murdered…while community police and rescue workers did nothing to stop the carnage by Hitler’s thugs. ¹

  “The pogroms became known as Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken   Glass, for the shattered glass from the store windows that littered the streets.”   Shortly after Kristallnacht  30,000 German Jews were rounded up and sent to concentration camps. ²  The systematic terror and genocide against the Jewish people was underway.

The Nazi’s were masterful at the art of propaganda. Considerable groundwork was laid in the years leading up to Kristallnacht to create the conditions for the passive complicity evident in the police and firefighters who did nothing as Jews and their businesses were attacked.  Nazi propagandists prepared the German people for the Holocaust in a relentless campaign to dehumanize the Jewish person. Jews were labeled a disease or parasites; Hitler talked of the Jewish bacilli. Extracting and destroying this threat to the German nation was a necessary, noble and patriotic act.

The silence of the German Christian churches is a tragic and shameful chapter in the history of this period.  Victoria J. Barnett is a writer and scholar whose work examines the role of Christian Churches during the Holocaust. Barnet writes:

Churches throughout Europe were mostly silent while Jews were persecuted, deported and murdered…Church leaders…wanted to avoid any conflict with the Nazi regime… There was little desire on the part of the Churches for self-sacrifice or heroism, and much emphasis on “pragmatic” and “strategic” measures that would supposedly protect these institutions’ autonomy in the Third Reich. Public institutional circumspection carried to the point of near numbness…the Churches failed to develop adequate moral and political responses to Nazi genocide…they knew what was happening.

From Broken Glass to Broken Babies

The Pro abortion propaganda specialists, like their Nazi predecessors, understood the need to manipulate language to dehumanize those designated for death.

Terms pro abortion strategists developed to describe the unborn child:

– Products of conception

– Blob of tissue

– The fetus as part of the woman’s body and (echoing Nazi racial propaganda against the Jews)  describing the  relationship of mother and baby as that of parasite and host

In Nazi Germany, once the Jews were sufficiently dehumanized, they were subject to all manner of abuse, mistreatment and murder as well as inhumane and tortuous medical experiments.

Fast forward to the United States 2016.

From the same publicly funded organization that enthusiastically affirms Tim Kaine, Planned Parenthood abortion doctor Deborah Nucatola casually shares over lunch the market for aborted unborn baby organs:

“I’d say a lot of people want liver. And for that reason, most providers will do this case under ultrasound guidance, so they’ll know where they’re putting their forceps. The kind of rate-limiting step of the procedure is calvarium. Calvarium—the head—is basically the biggest part.” Nucatola explains, “We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact.” (LifeNews)

Collective Guilt

Fr Jim Arsenault of St Elizabeth’s:

The church has a teaching with regard to we’re pro-life, and we believe in that seamless garment of life. We respect sometimes lawmakers make difficult decisions.

The current high visibility of Tim Kaine and his pastor in the media shine an especially bright light upon the complicity of Catholics and all Christians in the death of innocent unborn children. Fr Arsenault hides behind the seamless garment of life to avoid holding parishioner Kaine accountable for his public support of Roe V Wade and promotion of legislation and laws that lead to the death of unborn children.  The legitimacy of the seamless garment that promotes the dignity of human life from womb to natural death – rests on the cornerstone foundation of all human rights – the right to be born.

But to be fair, many of us share in various ways the same blindness, passivity and complicity in the genocide against unborn children as well as other sins against justice and charity (Matthew 25: 31-46.) When history and God judges our nation in light of the death of nearly 60 million unborn boys and girls in the womb since 1973, that judgment will not fall on one Senator, one presidential candidate and one election.  The collective guilt and the blood of these innocent children is upon us all.

With that said, in this Year of Mercy it is not too late to repent and turn away from this darkness.  There is still time for the Church, and all believers and people of good will to send a clear message to both political parties this November:

– It is time to end our passivity and complicity in this our national tragedy of abortion.

– We will no longer tolerate the destruction of innocent unborn children.

– The seamless garment of life from womb to natural death rests on the cornerstone foundation of all human rights…the right to be born.

– We will hold our public officials accountable for how they legislate and vote on this foundational human rights issue.

– We will vote accordingly in November.

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

  • Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person – among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.
  • Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. 
  • The inalienable right to life of every innocent human individual is a constitutive element of a civil  society and its legislation: (Sections 2270, 2272, 2273.)
  1. The Night of Broken Glass.  www.ushmm.org
  2. Ibid

 

Adam Silver and the NBA’s Double Standard in the Charlotte Decision: What About the Rights of Unborn African American Children in New York City, Headquarters of the NBA?

Friday, July 22nd, 2016

 

Beam in Eye

… first take the beam out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly how to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:5)

In March 2016 North Carolina passed a law House Bill 2 (HB2), that said in schools and other public buildings, a person will use the bathroom or locker room determined by his or her biological gender at birth. It is estimated that about 0.2% of the population suffer with gender confusion and may identify as Transgendered.

The NBA was planning to hold its 2017 All Star Game in Charlotte. Adam Silver and the NBA, huddled together at their 5th avenue Manhattan offices and decided it’s time to take a stand for what they call the “core values of our league.”

“Since March, when North Carolina enacted HB2 and the issue of legal protections for the LGBT community in Charlotte became prominent…We have been guided…by the long-standing core values of our league. These include…diversity, inclusion, fairness and respect for others….”

The NBA concluded this law violated their “core values” and made the decision to pull their All Star Game from Charlotte and move it to another state.

The Beam in the NBA’s Eye

Over 75% of NBA players are African American. The NBA headquarters are located in New York City.

According to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, in 2012 more unborn black were children lost to abortion (31,328) than were born (24,758.)   African American children comprised 42.4% of the total number of abortions in New York City.

Yet Adam Silver and the NBA decided that North Carolina is where they take a stand for what they see as a gross violation of the civil rights of 0.2% of people who suffer from gender identity confusion. Their core values are so deeply violated by HB2 that they decided to  humiliate and financially punish the city of Charlotte and the state of North Carolina.

From the Wall Street Journal:

The exit from North Carolina is a major blow for the state’s largest city, which stands to lose at least $100 million in economic benefits as a result, according to state Sen. Jeff Jackson, a Charlotte Democrat.

In the city where Adam Silver and the NBA have their corporate headquarters, nearly 6 out of 10 African American pregnancies are ended by abortion. Thirty thousand African American unborn boys and girls die each year in New York City alone.

Evangelist Alveda King, niece of Dr Martin Luther King and Director of Civil Rights for the Unborn, had this to say about the NBA’s decision:

Many of these little boys and girls would have been future NBA fans. A few exceptional athletes would have had the thrill of playing in a future All Star game. All of them, if allowed the basic civil right of being born, would have shared the same blessing that you and I enjoy each day in this great nation; the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Instead of standing up for the civil rights of millions of unborn black children lost each year to abortion, and the suffering and devastation this brings to their parents and communities, the NBA decided to take the radical action of pulling their All Star game from Charlotte because of HB2.

Jesus had something to say about the blindness of the self-righteous:

And why do you look at the splinter in your brother’s eye, and not notice the beam which is in your own eye? Or how say to your brother, ‘Allow me to take the splinter out of your eye,’ while the beam is in your own eye?

First take the beam out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly how to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:3-5)

 

 

 

 

 

How Abortion Led Us Down the Rabbit Hole of Transgender Madness

Monday, July 11th, 2016

 

…Alice ran across the field after [the rabbit], and fortunately was just in time to see it pop down a large rabbit-hole under the hedge. In another moment down went Alice after it, never once considering how in the world she was to get out again… Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

 

On May 13, the Obama administration declared that every public school facility must give students access to all activities and facilities consistent with their gender identity.   The Obama White House wants our nation to follow Alice down the rabbit hole of transgender politics and bathroom insanity.

The majority of United States citizens are being forced to make radical and unsafe accommodations to the small number of individuals who suffer from gender confusion. As we shall see, other confused children and young adults are exploited by the propaganda of the transgender activists and become collateral damage in the culture wars.

Many have been surprised and alarmed at the rapid advance of this ideology of transgender rights. Yet, as with same-sex marriage, an increasing number of our fellow citizens see this as a natural progression in the development of a more inclusive, compassionate and just society.

How can we understand this rapid surrender to the ideologues and activists that are shaping our nation’s future?

It may be helpful as we mobilize to fight back against this madness, to step back and consider the broader issue of the origins and nature of sin and the critical role of abortion in creating a fertile soil for our current moral and spiritual confusion.

Justice Kennedy and the Serpent

Consider the words of Justice Anthony Kennedy in the 1992 Planned Parenthood vs Casey abortion case:

At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.

Justice Kennedy’s words echo back to that original rebellion against the providence of God:

The woman said to the serpent…God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not die; for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened,and you will be like God knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3-4) 

The Genesis account reveals the origin of human sin and our ongoing temptation to reject God’s providence.  Kennedy’s comments suggest a perverted understanding of the nature of the “heart of liberty” as a type of deification of the autonomous self (“you will be like God.”)

The Transfigured and Disfigured Christ

Kennedy’s concept of human liberty presents a sharp contrast to the words of Jesus at the last Passover with his beloved apostles:

This is my body, given up for you.

And in the Garden of Gethsemane before his arrest:

Not my will Father, but your will be done.

Sin disfigures the human person and darkens the mind, emotions and conscience…but also the body.

The one who was transfigured in blinding light on Mount Tabor, very soon after would be disfigured beyond recognition by our sins. Jesus embraced his mission to heal the wounds of the human family inflicted by the serpent, and reconcile us to the Father.

The movie the Passion of the Christ and a close study of the Shroud of Turin, reveal in graphic and shocking detail the extent of the physical damage caused by the beatings, scourging, and crucifixion of Jesus. In the sadistic cruelty and humiliation inflicted on the sacred body of Jesus, we see how sin disfigures the image of God made flesh.  Sin has a similar effect on each of us, with effects both visible and hidden.

The Disfigured Body in the Abortion and Transgendered Movements

In the Genesis account we see that the temptation of the serpent was a carefully crafted lie.  His hidden agenda was to attack the intimate and holy relationship between man and woman and also the relationship with their Creator. The consequences of sin are confusion, disharmony, and spiritual and physical death.

Abortion, like the serpent’s temptation, was also founded on carefully crafted lies. The late Dr Bernard Nathanson, a former abortionist, and one of the founding fathers of the abortion revolution prior to his conversion, shares the truth:

We fed the public a line of deceit, dishonesty, a fabrication of statistics and figures. We succeeded [in breaking down the laws limiting abortions] because the time was right and the news media cooperated. We sensationalized the effects of illegal abortions, and fabricated polls which indicated that 85% of the public favored unrestricted abortion, when we knew it was only 5%. We unashamedly lied, and yet our statements were quoted [by the media] as though they had been written in law.’ (quoted in John Powell, Abortion: the silent Holocaust. Tabor, Allen, Texas. 1981.)

This campaign of deception set the stage for 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized the widespread poisoning, dismembering and desecration of unborn children through all nine months of pregnancy.

The Planned Parenthood videos released by the Center for Medical Progress reveal the cold and calculated darkness that, over time, disfigures the hearts and minds of those immersed in this culture of death.

Planned Parenthood abortion doctor Deborah Nucatola casually shares over lunch the market for unborn baby organs:

“I’d say a lot of people want liver. And for that reason, most providers will do this case under ultrasound guidance, so they’ll know where they’re putting their forceps. The kind of rate-limiting step of the procedure is calvarium. Calvarium—the head—is basically the biggest part.” Nucatola explains, “We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact.” (LifeNews)

Transgender Abuse: “Healthy Organs Were Amputated”

Like the abortion rights revolutionaries, the transgendered movement is prepared to lie, manipulate information and language, and mutilate and sacrifice our vulnerable children and families to advance their radical agenda.

Dr. Kathleen “Kelly” Levinstein, PhD, is a Professor of Social Work at the University of Michigan, Flint.   Her research and advocacy work includes human and civil rights violations against the autistic community.

Dr. Levinstein shares a tragic and cautionary tale about the vulnerability of children with autism to the radical agenda of transgender activist in this account about her daughter who has undergone transgender medical transition:

My daughter, who is on the autism spectrum -When she was 16, she began watching a TV show called “Degrassi,” which featured an FtoM character. After a few weeks, she announced that she was not actually…lesbian, as she had previously said, but was in fact trans. She started attending a local PFLAG where she met many trans people, including a number of FtoM trans teenagers who were raving about a certain “gender therapist who gave my daughter the go-ahead to have a bilateral mastectomy after only two sessions. This gender specialist never reviewed any of the Special Ed records or spoke to my daughter’s previous therapist, who had known her for a decade.

The gender therapist (whom I believe has an unholy financial alliance with the surgeon) gave my daughter (then 18 and one day) the go-ahead for the $30,000 surgery (covered for all university employees and their families where I work). My daughter is now on testosterone (which she clearly is unable to evaluate the risks and consequences of)…

She has been taken advantage of. Healthy organs were amputated. This is insurance fraud, poor clinical practice, a violation of APA standards, unethical and unjust. It is a crime not just against women, but particularly against disabled women.

So many of these young women who are “transitioning” are also autistic.

Healthy organs of this autistic young woman were amputated.

Planned Parenthood harvests the healthy organs of unborn little boys and girls torn from the womb of their mothers.

The further we are removed from our moral and spiritual Judeo-Christian heritage and the absolute providence of our Creator over human life, the further we travel down the rabbit hole into cultural chaos and madness.

Finding our Way Home

“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.  It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” – Founding Father John Adams

The sexual revolution marches on emboldened by its victories to spread sexual immorality and abortion around the world. The goals of the revolution expand to redefine and deconstruct what it means to be human, male and female.

Now for Some Very Good News

After over 20 years in ministry around the world for those suffering after abortion, we have discovered some common themes in the healing journey. Abortion is a deep wound that intimately hurts women emotionally, spiritually and physically. When they attend a safe and effective healing program like Rachel’s Vineyard, this deep wound is cleansed, and the power of God begins to heal and renew broken hearts and troubled souls. They grieve and reconcile with God and their unborn children.

Men are also wounded by participating in the death of their unborn children. Their secret suffering is often rooted in the failure to defend and protect their son or daughter.  This can weaken them later as men and fathers.  The passivity of many men in our country to the advancing radical agendas of the same sex, abortion and transgender movements may be connected to their unresolved shame, grief and guilt from their abortion loss.    Reconciliation and healing strengthens men to embrace their role as spiritual leaders in their families and communities, rooted in Christ’s example of loving service and sacrifice for those entrusted to their care.

Just as abortion darkens the mind and conscience, healing the intimate wounds of abortion brings renewed light and moral clarity.

As women and men continue that process of emotional and spiritual growth and healing after abortion, they can better discern God’s will for their lives. With joy and gratitude, and a renewed and vibrant faith, they experience a call to loving service to others in their churches and communities.

There is a great harvest across our nation of those wounded by the Shockwaves of Abortion, and waiting to hear a message of liberating truth rooted in charity, compassion and love.

This humble but powerful army of those reconciled from their abortion loss can unleash a flood of grace upon this nation, and push back against the culture of death.

Its time to stop our nation’s descent down the rabbit holes of sexual revolution and transgender madness.

Let the healing begin!

 

Thinking of Sitting out this Election? You May Miss the Most Important Election in Our Nation’s History

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

 

White House Lightening

So you’re disappointed with the current options for President of the United States.

You are thinking about either sitting out this election, or a write-in protest vote for someone with zero chance of victory.

See if any of the following apply to you:

– You believe our nation and its citizen’s benefit from a healthy tension between state and federal government powers and interests. However, states should not be bullied by the federal government for decisions best left to the elected representatives of each state.

– You are concerned about the erosion of religious freedom in your community and nation.

– You are alarmed by the aggressive promotion by the federal government and judiciary of sexual revolution, transgender bathroom insanity and abortion.

– You are getting tired of a national government that appears to be more loyal to the interest of global elites than to that of middle and working class families.

Our Wise Benevolent Overlords

Remain sober-minded and alert. (1Peter 5:8)

The mass media and the radical political and cultural elite see themselves as the wise benevolent rulers of the ignorant masses who are not as enlightened as themselves.  They use their considerable powers to manipulate public perception as we approach the November elections.  They focus excessively on peripheral issues and side-show theatrics while misrepresenting or ignoring the important policy positions of a candidate they oppose.  This can leave voters distracted disconnected spectators of a political reality show.

But now more than ever we need to remain “sober-minded and alert.” The stakes could not be higher.

Whatever a particular candidates shortcomings, the upcoming election is not so much about an individual. The next administration will make key judiciary appointments, including Supreme Court justices that will shape the court for generations to come. This election presents the opportunity to begin to turn back the radical anti-life and anti-human agenda imposed under force by an administration and judiciary committed to advancing the sexual revolution and the erosion of religious rights.

The Gathering Storm Clouds

Consider recent Supreme Court decisions and Obama administration directives:

-On June 27th ruling on the Whole Woman’s Health vs. Hellerstedt  case, the Supreme Court struck down a Texas law that the Governor and elected representatives of that state passed to protect women and their unborn children from predators like abortionist Kermit Gosnell.  Radical pro abortion ideology takes precedence over reasonable states rights and the health and welfare of Texas women and children.

– On June 28th the US Supreme Court denied to hear a case involving pharmacists in Washington State who, for religious reasons, declined to dispense Plan B, a contraception that can in some cases induce an early stage abortion of a fertilized human embryo.

Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. in his dissenting comments said:

“…this court does not deem the case worthy of our time. If this is a sign of how religious liberty claims will be treated in the years ahead, those who value religious freedom have cause for great concern.”

– On May 13, the Obama administration declared that every public school facility must give students access to all activities and facilities consistent with their gender identity.  The majority of United States citizens are being forced to make radical and unsafe accommodations to the small number of individuals who suffer from gender confusion.

Let’s Realize What’s at Stake in this Election

– Will we remain a republic rooted in our Judeo Christian heritage and grounded in times tested principles of just and sound governance and a healthy relationship between state and federal powers?

– The victor in November’s presidential election will quickly form their administration and make future judicial appointments. Which candidate will put the interests of far left social justice warriors ahead of the real concerns of most of our nation’s hard working families?

– What future presidential administration will but the interest of United Sates families ahead of political and business leaders with no loyalty to our nation and it’s citizens? Who is more likely to advance the sexual revolution, especially abortion, and their twisted understanding of gender across our nation and world with an evangelical fury?

Don’t fall into the trap of looking for the perfect candidate.

Look beyond the hype and spin and see which candidate is most likely to form an administration and appoint federal and Supreme Court judges that will respect the constitution, not be allies of the sexual revolutionaries and abortion industry, and fairly balance state and federal interests.

Vote for a president and administration that will respect and protect the religious rights of all citizens, regardless of their faith, but will not be bullied by those who want us to abandon the treasure of our nation’s Judeo-Christian moral and religious heritage.

For if this is what is done to green wood, what will be done when the wood is dry? Luke 23:31

 

To Distracted to Feel: Cell Phone Addiction the Denial of Grief and Starvation of the Soul

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

 

Cell Phone Addiction

Many miles away

Something crawls to the surface

Of a dark Scottish lake

Synchronicity II, Sting

CNN reports that fifty percent of teens and twenty-seven percent of parents feel they are addicted to their mobile devices.

Comedian and social critic Louis CK says we can turn compulsively to the distraction and superficial affirmation of the social media world to avoid looking at the darker places within.  In an appearance on Conan he shared about an experience driving with his cell phone, and the denial of grief:

You know, underneath everything in your life there’s that thing…You know, it’s down there. Sometimes when things clear away, you’re in your car and you go, oh, no, here it comes that I’m alone… But people risk ruining their own and taking a life because they don’t want to be alone for a second. I was in my car one time and Bruce Springsteen came on…I was listening to “jungle land”…And I go, OK, I’m getting sad. I’ve got to get the phone and write hi to 50 people…You know what, don’t. Just be sad.

Imagine a dank, moldy, musty basement where the windows have been sealed shut for years; no air and light can penetrate this darkness.

This is can be the condition of our hearts and souls after years of perpetual distraction and immersion in the demands of work and life routines, entertainment, and media. The nature of many modern jobs means that cell phones and ipads keep workers perpetually connected and accessible to their employers and clients. The 24/7 demands of some jobs leave little time to disconnect, to be emotionally present to loved ones, and refresh the soul.

From CNN:

GG Benitez, a mother of three, said that as the founder and chief executive officer of her own public relations firm, she feels the pressure to always be available due to the fear of losing any potential press opportunities for her clients…she said this constant need to be connected can be taxing. Yet, even when she tries to stay off her phone in the evenings for at least one hour, she has a tough time…”I had taken my son to a movie, and he turned around to me and said, ‘Are you serious, Mom? We are at the movies and you are still on your phone?’…”

Some of the latest research also suggests this immersion in the virtual world of social media, emails and texting may also be connected to the release of dopamine in the brain:

Holland Haiis, who wrote Digital Detox Program, shares:

“The dopamine in our brains is stimulated by the unpredictability that social media, emails and texting provide…”

This can leave us perpetually distracted and even serve as a type of self-medication for any painful or unsettling feelings and experiences we are trying to avoid.

Opening the Windows of Your Soul

As Louis CK points out, this addictive use of devices can also deny us the natural human experience of being deeply moved by something, and allowing powerful emotions to surface, even if they are initially painful. The body rewards the expression of grief with endorphins and the peace and relief that flows naturally from that process.[1]

Facing those dark areas in the deeper waters of our self can also lead us to ask questions about the ultimate meaning of our life, and contemplate important questions about our priorities and relationships. In our journey to those places of emptiness and sadness we may discover there is a hunger for a deeper meaning that can never be filled by entertainment and social media or pornography and drugs.

Experts suggest setting strong boundaries around the use of phones and ipads and replacing the dopamine rush of social media with a walk, jog or bike ride.  Taking time for meditation, contemplation and prayer will also help free our minds, souls and bodies from an unhealthy attachment to this virtual reality.

We may begin to recognize that we are actually spiritually starving and begin to make time to feed our souls with prayer, study and worship of the One who created us and gave us the gift of life.

Staying Numb and Distracted from Complicated Grief and Loss

We have learned from our over 20 years in ministry around the world in Rachel’s Vineyard that abortion is a deeply buried wound, and one that women and men will go to great lengths to repress and deny.   People expend a lot of psychic energy to keep the memories and feelings buried, but over time this exacts a high cost.

Perhaps this constant immersion in our devices is working hand in hand with this denial.   In such a constant state of distraction you may never have the space to make the connection between a struggle with addiction, relationship problems or anxiety and depression in your life, and an area of hurt or loss that is crying out for reconciliation and healing.

Abortion is not a normal experience of loss and grief. It is a complicated grief.   With a natural experience of death there are religious rituals, social supports, expressions of concern and compassion that all help in the grieving process.

But everything about the abortion experience conspires to feed this massive denial about what is a powerful and life-changing physiological, emotional and spiritual event.  The rationalizations in the decision making process, the misinformation about fetal development and the procedure and its aftermath, all serve to distance women and men from the deeper experience of an abortion and the impact on their hearts and souls.

The message women and men hear and absorb about their abortion from friends, family and society is: “stuff it, it’s a nothing, get busy, and move on with your life as quickly as possible.

Follow His Example

It is natural to feel anxiety and other painful feelings when we unplug for awhile and give some attention to our deeper selves. If you have experienced an abortion loss (or multiple abortions) and take some time to be alone, don’t be afraid when those powerful or conflicting feelings start to surface.

Feeling anxious, sad, guilty, confused, and angry about your abortion experience and wanting to avoid those feelings…is normal.  But the rewards and blessings of opening this wound to the light of healing far outweigh that initial pain and discomfort.

Even though the journey to healing may arise from a time of solitary reflection, you will need the encouragement and support of others who have made this journey before you, and know the safest and most effective way to recover from that loss.

You may be thinking, “Yeah sure that would be nice but I am way too busy, and I just can’t find the time.”

Consider the example of a man who was in constant demand by multitudes of his fellow countryman for his remarkable gifts of healing, deliverance and preaching:

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. (Mark 1:35)

And Jesus also respected when he needed to give himself some space to grieve a painful loss:

When Jesus heard [that John the Baptist had been beheaded], he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. (Matthew 14:13)

Consider if there is a need for more light and fresh air to flow into your life and less time spent immersed in those useful, but distracting gadgets.

Let’s put aside the phones and other devices, turn off the TV for a while, and follow His example.

 

 

[1] Dr. William Frey at the Ramsey Medical Center in Minneapolis discovered that reflex tears are 98% water, whereas emotional tears also contain stress hormones which get excreted from the body through crying. After studying the composition of tears, Dr. Frey found that emotional tears shed these hormones and other toxins which accumulate during stress. Additional studies also suggest that crying stimulates the production of endorphins, our body’s natural pain killer and “feel-good” hormones.” [Citation from:  Judith Orloth M.D.]

Dear Clergy and Ministers: Yes Abortion is a Sensitive Subject…But Mother’s Day is the Perfect Time to Share a Message of Consolation and Healing

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

 

 

 

Preacher

Yes this is a very sensitive subject to introduce on Mother’s Day weekend. But it really is the perfect time. Women in your congregation who have had abortions may be experiencing various levels of regret and discomfort as our nation honors its moms.

The Silent No More Awareness Campaign through their Shockwaves Initiative has created a special section of prayers and preaching aids that can help you share a message of hope and healing at this time of year.

Please take a moment to read the prayers and review the preaching ideas for the Scripture readings used in Sunday services for the month of May.

Here is one of the prayers you will find on the Shockwaves website, developed by Fr Frank Pavone for mothers who have lost a child to abortion. Consider how simply sharing this beautiful prayer with your congregation would empower the Holy Spirit to open hearts and souls to the grace of reconciliation and a deeper healing of their loss:

Prayer for Mothers who have Lost a Child to Abortion

Lord of all Life, You have entrusted us to the care of one another, And called us to be one Body in Christ.

You call us to rejoice with those who rejoice, And to weep with those who weep.

Lord, you have compared the love you have for us To the love a mother has for her own child. Hear our prayer today For all mothers who have lost children to abortion. Help us to understand The pain that is in their hearts, And to be a living sign to them Of your welcome, your mercy, and your healing.

Help them to undergo with courage The process of grief and the journey of healing. Never allow them to feel alone; Always refresh them with the presence of Your Spirit And of their brothers and sisters in Christ.

Console them with the sure hope That you love and care for their children. Give them new strength, That even while they grieve what they have lost, They may look forward to all the good That you still have in store for them.

Lord of healing and hope, Give us all the forgiveness of our sins, And the joy of your salvation.

We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord. Amen.

 

FDA Relaxes Restrictions on Abortion Pill: What Happens to a Couple When their Home Becomes an Abortion Clinic?

Monday, March 21st, 2016

 

horror_house_3978304_lrg

Under the cover of the uproar from Donald’s Trumps recent flip-flop comments on abortion, the New York Times reported about a much more serious concern for those who care about women and their unborn children:

    The Food and Drug Administration has relaxed the guidelines for taking a   pill that induces abortion, reviving one of the most contentious issues of the abortion debate. The change allows women to use the drug further into pregnancy and with fewer visits to the doctor…The change was an unequivocal victory for abortion rights advocates who had been fighting laws in Texas, North Dakota and Ohio, among other states, that require doctors prescribing the pill to follow the directions on the F.D.A. label for using it, which had been more stringent…Medication-induced abortions have increasingly been used to terminate pregnancies in recent years…They made up as much as a quarter of all abortions in 2011, according to the most recent figures from the Guttmacher Institute… Planned Parenthood said as many as half of eligible women in its clinics requested medication-induced abortions.

This has the potential to greatly expand the use of these medications that lead to the death and expulsion of a tiny unborn child in the first 10 weeks of pregnancy.

The FDA and the Obama administration do not share the physical and emotional experience of taking this medication. Please read and share this couples experience when their home and marital bed are transformed into an abortion center:

Abortion in the Home

A self described pro-choice woman and her husband describe their RU 486 abortion experience.  She was not prepared for the excruciating pain and emotional trauma of the procedure:

Her husband got her out of the tub, and into the bed…

It was then, with her husband lying next to her, that Kay says, “I went through the worst experience of my life.”

“After two hours of this,” Kay says, “I felt a rush of blood and a large lemon-sized clot came out. I assume that was the pregnancy. I was horrified. Why hadn’t anyone told me that it would be like this?”

Her husband cleaned the blood off her, cleaned up the towels, changed the sheets, dressed her because she was too weak from the pain.  (Lifesite News)

Copious amounts of blood cover Kay and stain the sheets of their marital bed where their tiny child was likely conceived. What was formerly a place of marital pleasure and joy becomes the setting where their child is painfully expelled from its mother’s womb.

The father of the child lies next to his wife during this nightmare.  He carefully attends to her and removes the bloody sheets…and we can assume disposes of their tiny son or daughter.

What was this man thinking and feeling as his wife went through this traumatic labor?  Might he have felt a sense of shame and guilt that their “choice” led to so much physical and emotional anguish for his wife?  Did he feel helpless and powerless as he witnessed what Planned Parenthood said would be a simple process turn into an unforgettable and traumatic nightmare?

It doesn’t really matter what this couples political and moral opinions are about abortion.  There are things more powerful than ideology and politics.  The intellect can rationalize about lost pregnancies and women’s rights.  But the painful truth of the heart and soul will not be denied.

Based on our professional experience with thousands of women and men after abortion let me offer some idea of what life may be like for this couple post RU 486:

They have both clearly experienced a traumatic event.  The home, which should be a peaceful refuge, will be a place that triggers anxiety and depression.   The marital bed will remain a place of death, and an unspoken sense of loss will permeate the bedroom and relationship.  The image and memory of that tiny “pregnancy” will rest there between them as they struggle to sleep.

Ongoing physical complications are possible.  Nightmares, insomnia, anxiety and depression are likely.  Sexual relations will be confusing and challenging.  Even when they are able to assume marital intimacy, they will need to dissociate from their feelings and go through the motions.

The unresolved feelings and memories will lead them to drink more, work more…whatever it takes to get away from the pain.  The distance will grow between them.

Over time this couple will be unable to meet one another’s needs for emotional and physical intimacy.  They may look outside the marriage for support from someone who is not connected to the trauma.  Marital infidelity will begin a process of marital dissolution.

Mifepristone is a very powerful chemical.  It didn’t just end the life of their unborn child.  The drug traumatized this couple, made their home a place of death, and in time may kill their marriage.

They may struggle to associate any of their personal and marital problems to their chemical abortion…pro choice ideology forbid this.  But the physical, emotional and relational symptoms will cry out to them to acknowledge this loss, to face the truth of their actions…so they can repent and heal.

 

How are Children Impacted when they learn of a Parent’s Past Abortion?

Friday, March 18th, 2016

 

Sibling Grief

 

[Theresa Bonapartis is the founder of Lumina, offering hope and healing after abortion. A special area of her outreach focuses on the struggle of siblings who learn of a parent’s previous abortion and the realization they have lost a brother or sister. I asked Theresa to share about her ministry and Lumina’s upcoming Entering Canaan Healing Weekend Retreat for Siblings of Aborted babies May 20-22, 2016. –Kevin Burke, LSW]

Theresa, what led you to develop a retreat for siblings with abortion loss?

I saw the impact on my own sons, when I told them as teenagers about my abortion. Having worked through the healing process with them I saw a lot of the struggles that I never even thought of before. Before you learn more about this issue, you think of telling them in relation to what they will think about you, but the truth is, it opens a whole range of issues for them. Guilt for being alive, wondering if they were wanted, anger, fear, would they even be here if their sibling was not aborted…it goes on and on.

I also began having more and more people come to me (I am next door to a high school) suffering because of a parents abortion. The more siblings I came to know, the more I came to understand all they suffered. Like those of us who are post-abortive, they often feel so alone in their feelings. They have so many questions but do not want to question their parents because they see them suffering so much already. They carry this burden alone.

They can be very protective of their parents and anyone harshly judging their moms for what they did.  This confirms for us the importance of a prayerful and compassionate pro-life message that affirms our duty to protect the unborn and offer alternatives to abortion…but with words and actions that are always grounded in mercy and compassion…as  Fr Frank Pavone is fond of saying, it’s about loving and protecting them both (that is the mother and child.)

What are ages generally of the participants?  How do they come to awareness that this is an area that needs healing and what are some of their struggles?

The ages have varied from 20’s to 70’s. We do not take young children.

It is amazing how many of them share that they always knew someone was missing in their lives. Some were told by parents, others overheard things and their parents do not even know they know. I sense the need for healing arises because of all the issues and questions that come up for them. Think about it…here are your parents who have always loved and protected you and now you learn a sibling has died…it is all so conflicting for them.

They have questions but do not feel they can ask because they are protecting their parents. They hold the suffering and almost become the care giver with this. You have to wonder how much of it may come from wanting to be sure they are loved because a sibling has died. Of course they are loved, but with the knowledge of an aborted sibling so many questions surface.

They fear the anger they feel for their parents so they often hide it…a parent needs to be able to handle anything their kid has to voice. That is why it is so important the parent finds healing for themselves first…they need to be able to take whatever their kids dish out so that the kids do not feel like they have to protect them. They should not tell them just to ease their own burden. It is unrealistic to think it will not impact them so they need to be able to handle it.

Theresa you mentioned survivor guilt. Is this a common reaction when they learn of a parent’s abortion?

Part of them is grateful to be alive and the other feels guilty that it was their sibling and not them. They need to learn their lives are as importance as their siblings. They have dignity, importance and value and God has a plan for them. We try to help them come to see how abortion can happen, not to justify it, but to understand so they can forgive their parents and let go of the guilt to come to a peace within themselves.

It is a struggle.

What kind of feedback do you get from the participants after they have been through your program?

More than anything else, probably gratitude. Also a wonderful fruit of the retreat is the camaraderie among them that naturally develops and ongoing contact and support. This has blossomed into web sites and FB pages where they share with one another. More and more people are out there are finding them and sharing their feelings.

The dynamics between the siblings are wonderful as they come to see they are not alone and are so grateful and excited to share with one another and hear for the first time, some answers to their questions and a new way of looking at it all.

IT is wonderful, but we are just skimming the surface. There are millions and millions of them out there and many have multiple siblings lost from prior relationships of parents or within the family. Plus often it is generational.

Can you give us an overview of what takes place on one of the Entering Canaan retreats?

The weekend consists of series different conferences addressing sibling issues. It is directed by one of the Friars of the Renewal who I began the retreats with, as well as a sibling who has been through healing with us from the beginnings of EC retreats.

We address things like

Would my name be the same?

Would I even be here?

What do I do with my unanswered questions?

Various feelings they struggle with…

All in the context of conferences, time before the Blessed Sacrament and periods of sharing.

The bonding that goes on is amazing. People have attended from all over the country. One woman in her late 70’s even drove up alone from Florida…she held in her feelings for decades and was so grateful she had a place where she could finally express her pain.

How many have you offered so far.  What has been the response?

We did day retreats for 4 years before offering our first weekend last year. We found the people who wanted to come were from all over the country and so a weekend seemed more logical than a day and more conducive to healing.

We are really just beginning to be known, but the response has great. So many have been waiting for this and are so grateful for its existence.

Theresa anything you want to add in closing?

I think we would all die of broken hearts of we saw the damage to so many siblings by their parents abortions. Oftentimes people who have told their children will say things like “Oh my child was ok”, but that is totally unrealistic. As unrealistic as it is to think that abortion does not hurt the moms and dads, Abortion hurts us all, and oftentimes other children on a deep level but they do not voice it for fear of hurting their parents more. I know many like that.

I know I am grateful for things like Shockwaves which is bringing this issue more to the forefront. You have to wonder, how is this impacting our society? How many are wounded because of this and bringing that wounded ness into their relationships without even knowing it because no one is speaking of it?

How can someone who is interested learn more and register for Entering Canaan Healing Weekend Retreat for siblings of aborted babies?

They can contact me at 877 586 4621 or email lumina@post abortionhelp.org

We do have a grant available to assist people to attend so money should not keep anyone away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

African American Victim of Rape and Molestation Says Abortion is another form of Enslavement for the Black Community

Monday, February 15th, 2016

 

Onawu Pickett

Onawu Pickett is an ordained Christian minister. She feels a special calling by God to reach out to African-Americans who are being ravaged by the Shockwaves of Abortion through public speaking and personal ministry.

In the following interview, Onawu tells her own story and shared some very important insights on how to better reach the millions of black families wounded by abortion loss:

Kevin: Onawu can you share with us some of your family background?

Onawu: My mother and father were migrant farm workers.  She married my father when she was only 16, still very much a child herself. They met in a work camp in the season of chopping cotton in the central valley of California. Mama only went to school up to the sixth grade which led to a very limited education.

I was molested at age four by a neighbor’s son who is in prison to this day for armed robbery and rape. The boy that molested me was older…not sure how much older. His mother was my baby sitter and his parents were my parent’s good friends. I never shared this with my parents. The lie told by the molester was that I would be in trouble if I did would stick with me for the rest of my life.

My father was very abusive to my mother. He was very good looking and a drifter as well as a con artist. He was also educated and up on world events. His grandmother was a slave.

My grandmother struggled with mental health issues. My grandfather was a very humble man who very seldom lost his temper. He was murdered in 1963 by one of his seven daughter’s husband in a very small farming community of Fairmead, CA.

Kevin: What impact did those early experiences of violence, molestation have on you?

Onawu:   As I reflect back on my life it started out in a pretty violent and twisted environment.   With the challenges I faced in my family, I struggled with a sense of shame, not really understanding this…but also a fear of being rejected. Always looking for acceptance; yet always wanting to run away.

I use to fantasize about being adopted. I wanted a different family. My father was affectionate to me and my two sisters and brothers…but I couldn’t grasp why my mother did not say she loved us and did not show affection to us.  I did not want to be punished so I will do what was asked of me, whether it was right or wrong.

The impact caused me to be a companion to intimidation, depression, a lack of self esteem and being the victim of others that had issues to want to control others. Oh yes, rejection and bitterness kept me in bondage. All I wanted was love and security. Because of my mother’s lack of education and her youth; and my father unwilling to be a Godly man (he was atheist) I felt a deep sense of insecurity.

Kevin: You have also suffered the violence and trauma of rape.

Yes I was raped in 1972 when I was a senior in high school. I never did report the incident to the police or my parents.  I knew the identity of my rapist. He was someone that I used to date. He raped me six months after we broke-up and I became pregnant. I did not report the incident because I was afraid no one would believe me. My father wanted me to have an abortion, but I was too far along. He had a social worker come to talk to me about adoption.  My mother convinced me to keep the baby and she would help me to raise him while I went to school. I graduated from high school in June of 1973. I am glad I did not abort.  My son is a wonderful man who is serving in the army. He has done two tours in Iraq.

Kevin: Your first abortion occurred when you were a college student correct?

Onawu: My first abortion in 1974, I was 20 years old and shortly after the Roe vs. Wade decision…and yes I was attending junior college at the time. When I learned I was pregnant the young man did not want the responsibility and he was already seeing someone else as well. I was referred to Planned Parenthood by a friend.  I got involved again a year later with another man who was in the military was the same scenario, resulting in another abortion.  I was caught up in the confusing moral climate of the time, you know, love the one your with. Searching for security and love in ALL the wrong places.

Like many others of my generation. It is amazing how easy it was for me to accept the pro abortion Planned Parenthood counseling back then. I was convinced that I was not carrying a human being. I was able to believe that abortion was the answer because I needed a quick fix and a cover up for a repeated act of not being a nice girl.

I met someone and married him after my second abortion. It was a stormy relationship with infidelity on his part. We had two children. He abandoned us and got involved with another woman and we divorced after seven years together.

I met a wonderful man a couple of years later. We have been together 28 years with two children together. I thank God that I had a change of heart and HE erased my shame.

Kevin: It was many years later that decided that you needed to reach out for help from your abortion pain. What led you to take that step?

Onawu: I need to share with you some symptoms I was experiencing after my 2nd abortion. It was sometime after that I would go over overpasses or bodies of water that I actually felt that I would throw an infant over the railings into the water or over into a canyon. If I was holding a child in my lap I would hold the baby tighter. Sometime I would fight tears.

I had this fear for years up until I went to a PACE bible study program at the local Pregnancy Resource Center. I was in my fifties when the Lord brought it to my attention that constant fear and anxiety was connected to my abortions.

I faced what I had done and repented. God willingly forgave me and helped me to forgive myself. After I went through the process I wanted to share my story and tell others, especially women about God’s forgiveness and love. I gave my testimony at a local prayer group called Aglow International. It was confirmed by God that this is one major thing HE wanted me to do tell others you can be set free of your past with a major emphasis on my fellow Afro Americans.

I began to research and through this research I contacted Priest for Life. I was directed to Rachel’s Vineyard for further healing and education. I contacted the nearest retreat which would be held in Santa Rosa, CA.

Kevin: Can you share about your Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat Experience?

Onawu:   It was an intense three days. I was blessed to been able to attend the retreat. I did receive further healing. They were so loving, patient and more than willing to be at your side thru every step. The men in attendance were surprisingly open to the sessions as they began to take responsibility for there part in forcing in some instances there partners’ decision to have the abortion.   Tears began to flow, stony hearts were turned to flesh. In some instances the men had no say so in the woman’s decision and mourned the loss of his child. Some of the men came without a partner.

It was obviously difficult going thru the process but we all made it thru…individuals, couples and some grandparents were there as well. I heard testimonies how through the retreat lives were being changed, knowing that they were on the road to healing.

Kevin: Onawu we know that minority women face higher rates of sexual abuse, violence and rape. Do you see these things as making African American women more vulnerable to unplanned pregnancy and also seeing abortion as the best option?

Onawu:  Yes.  When the slaves were taken from our homeland, many women who were pregnant with child would throw themselves overboard and drown so as not to bring their children into slavery. Some women would drown themselves and their live children. I know that abortion is a form of bondage as well.

I believe that we have been conditioned to believe giving up life will make it all better for mother and child. For the child it would not have to face a cruel world and not wanted by its parents or society. Being a single mother would keep us down, and from pursuing an education and no one would want you or your kid. In other words a child out of wed lock will keep us from the pursuit of happiness…so the lie says. The woman could not carry a baby for nine months and give it up to adoption; this would be an added burden psychologically. Another mind set is why bring a child in the world and suffer the same tragedies as the mother.

Kevin: What are some of the obstacles you see in getting a message of awareness and healing to our African American Christian churches? How can we open doors to healing our families and communities?

Onawu:   Some of the obstacles are trying to convey awareness to our church leaders to convince them that some of our women and men are tragic victims of abortion. Some of our leaders don’t understand the mental anguish of the consequences of abortions for mothers and fathers. Lack of knowledge is damaging, the truth shall make us free.

Some of our politicians and Christian ministers and leaders need healing as well…of their own participation in abortion and by encouraging others to abort.   I believe lack of education and perhaps the ability to face their own past lead them to put up defensive walls. Maybe our church leaders would consider part of the confession of St. Augustine, “For thou has made us for thyself and restless is our heart until it comes to rest in thee.” Let us love what God love and hate what God hates

I believe more of us need to share our testimonies not only in our churches but in government halls. Unfortunately we do a lot of sweeping hurtful issues under the rug and throw accountability out the window. Healing comes with love, compassion and forgiveness at least in my case God’s love swept away my shame.

God also helped me to forgive myself. I would love to see some celebrities hearts be touched to share their testimony I pray someone brave in the entertainment industry would stand up and come along side those who have testified about the hurt of abortion in their life. I am talking about those who our young folk took to.

We must be examples of hope and life for generations to come. My prayer is that we no longer be enslaved to poverty and violence; especially in the womb; not only for African Americans but for human beings as a whole.

Kevin: Please touch on what we discussed about abortion being a trap, exploiting women.  Touch on the importance of healing in the black family.

Onawu: We need to regain our dignity. The fact of the matter is we have lost self respect. We have been conditioned to believe that we have no future unless we remain dependent of the county and state. We have patterned ourselves by allowing The Margret Sangers of the world to cheat us of our dignity and the right to life and family.

The Proclamation of Emancipation was signed into affect January 1, 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln…but we are still in bondage to think we will never be any better. We must know that the abortion industry was designed to eradicate black people as a race. Without our children we have no future. We are erasing our scientist, doctors, teachers, leaders and so forth. Healing brings on the continuing of love, hope and success in our communities to share with other races as well.

We need very much to return to respecting the wisdom of our elders and embrace them with respect; for they were our guides that kept us on track with prayer and experience. We can have laws changed but without a change of heart the laws will be hard to enforce. Someone must lay their lives down as Dr. King did for human rights, whether they are still in the matrix or born into this world. A quote from the bible says it best: “Open your mouth for the speechless, in the cause of all who are appointed to die. Open your mouth, judge righteously and plead the cause of the poor and needy.” (Proverbs 31:8-9) NKJ bible.

 

 

 

 

True or False? The Divisive Subject of Abortion Should Never be Addressed at Sunday Worship Services

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

 

Black Woman Praying

I was recently at a party where the topic of religion and abortion came up.  A Christian minister overheard the discussion and abruptly interjected:

“Abortion is a private and sensitive issue. Whatever your position on abortion, Sunday services are not the place to talk about the subject. We can’t let politics get in the way of preaching the Gospel.”

Maybe you agree with this minister.

The Shockwaves of Abortion

There have been nearly 60 million abortions since 1973.

Does the silence of the church communicate compassion  to those who experienced an abortion?  Is it sensitive and respectful to avoid addressing this issue with the countless fathers, grandparents, family and friends that are intimately part of many abortion decisions?

Or does this silence reinforce denial and ignore the deep pain and grief of those who desperately need to hear a message of healing and reconciliation?

Leslie suffered for many years with periods of depression, anxiety and nightmares connected to her two abortions at age 16 and 19. Leslie medicated her pain with alcohol, and later when she married, she was involved in a number of shameful and secret extramarital affairs. Later she was given prescription drugs prescribed by her family doctor to treat depression, anxiety and insomnia. None of the therapist or medical professionals she went to for help asked if there were any abortions in her history.

But what really hurt and angered Leslie was the failure of her spiritual leaders to recognize this hidden pain:

“If I had heard a compassionate and hope-filled message from my minister talking about how abortion can hurt some women and men and their relationships and families…if I heard after my first abortion that there were healing programs available for people like me…I may have been able to prevent the death of my second child and get the help  I needed much earlier in my life. I may have been able to save my husband and my children from living for years with the symptoms of this wound that was festering in my heart and soul. That pain led me to do things and try to cope in ways that hurt not only me and my relationship with God, but those I loved the most.  

Maybe hearing about women like me would help others understand that – yes an unplanned pregnancy is a life changing event that can be filled with fear and uncertainty – but abortion also changes your life in a powerful way.  For me, it brought years of pain and suffering…it was only later that I learned how the symptoms I suffered were rooted in the deep grief  from those two abortions…a grief I kept buried for many years. 

Good News from Ireland

To be fair, our church leaders struggle with the same thing many of us do in our families, workplaces and churches:

How do we address this sensitive topic in a way that does not hurt or alienate those that have been part of abortion decisions – especially those that have experienced the procedure and lost a child to abortion…yet does not compromise the moral truth that abortion is a grave sin against God and the dignity of the human person?

Is this even possible?

Fr. Pat Scanlan P.P. has been serving in Parish ministry since his ordination in 1977 for the Diocese of Cloyne, Ireland and has been a member of the Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat team in Cork since 2003.

The following interview with Fr. Pat is an excerpt from the book Sharing the Heart of Christ:

Fr. Pat, how long have you been involved in post abortion ministry?

Since my ordination to the priesthood in June 1977, I have met with many women and some men who have been wounded by abortion. Almost invariably they were crying out for forgiveness and healing. In my experience the celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation marks a decisive step in their journey towards recovery. Yet I have always felt that they needed something more. What that something was, I was not so sure. Yes the sin had been forgiven, but they had a deep need for healing and restoration.

How did you get involved with Rachel’s Vineyard?

In the summer of 2003, I had a phone call from a good friend Bernadette Goulding who shared with me her excitement at having discovered a movement called Rachel’s Vineyard…

Can you share from your experience serving as a member of the Retreat Team?

Being involved in these weekends certainly ranks among the most rewarding experiences of my priesthood….

It is not an exaggeration to say that on each weekend we experience miracles of grace. The participants usually arrive bowed down by too many years of grief and self –loathing. Slowly, gradually as they enter into the process of the weekend they get in touch with, express, release and reconcile deep painful post abortive emotions…As they leave to return home on Sunday afternoon, many of them will have experienced the Mercy of the Lord at a very deep level. A grace that is truly amazing has touched wounded hearts and made of them beloved disciples who will in turn become instruments of his compassion to others…

How has your work in post abortion healing impacted your preaching?

Prior to my involvement in Rachel’s Vineyard I often felt a bit scared at the prospect of preaching the Gospel of Life. I was conscious that in any congregation there may be one or more who had experienced abortion, and I was never sure how to effectively proclaim the truth while at the same time witnessing to compassion.

The truth without compassion is a lethal weapon particularly for wounded souls. Compassion without the truth is a cruel deception.

Now I actually enjoy preaching the Gospel of Life. I know from my experience of Rachel’s Vineyard that the Gospel is truly Good News…I usually tell my congregation that what I want to share is what I have learned from women and men, who have had abortions and how the Good Shepherd is waiting to embrace, heal and forgive them. I share in a gentle compassionate way that abortion wounds the lives of mothers and fathers. I know that if there are women and men present who have had abortion they will identify, and realize that the church wants to help them.

I have had people come to me afterwards to find out more about Rachel’s Vineyard.  For the remainder of the congregation, when I then proceed to present the church’s teaching on the right to life of the unborn it is but an obvious and positive conclusion to be embraced, once they have heard a little about post abortion suffering.

The Harvest is Plentiful!

You can see in Fr. Pat’s feedback the awesome possibilities for ministry and evangelization if we can extend a message or reconciliation and healing in our churches for all those impacted by the Shockwaves of Abortion. Sharing the Heart of Christ is a great resource for Priests, Deacons, Counselors and Laity in ministry to those suffering after abortion. The book provides a brief overview of some key issues in ministry to those with abortion loss, but also pastoral concerns and sample homilies to assist in preaching about this topic with truth, sensitivity and mercy.

Here’s what Bishop Robert Vasa had to say about Sharing the Heart of Christ:

Sharing the Heart of Christ provides an assurance of hope for genuine healing and peace for those afflicted with many manifestations of unresolved post-abortive guilt, grief and shame. This work helps us further understand the nature of the abortion trauma, the reason for its persistence and the possibility of healing. It is a book filled with hope. Here we learn how the healing power of God’s grace coupled with sound psychiatric principles can and does, in the midst of a Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat, produce an abundant harvest of healing and peace. I had the privilege of participating in a Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat several years ago. The power of the experience continues to have an impact upon me. May God bless and reward your good work. – Robert F. Vasa, Bishop of Santa Rosa, California

Share this blog with your minister, priest or pastor today…better yet get them a copy of Sharing the Heart of Christ.