Post-Abortion Healing: Who We Are is How We Heal

Msgr. Mike Mannion

[Note: Msgr. Mike Mannion, a priest of the Diocese of Camden, NJ, is a pioneer in the field of healing after abortion. He authored some of the first books on this topic and helped develop the Church’s understanding of the wounds abortion brings and of the path to healing. In the following article, Fr. Mike brings to our attention a new line of thought he is developing that links the path of healing with the traditional schools of spirituality in the Church. We at Priests for Life are happy to have Msgr. Mannion more closely connected to our work.]

If St. Thomas Aquinas was correct when he stated: “Grace builds on nature, “ then we can learn much about the journey of healing for those suffering from the aftermath of abortion.

When personality types are matched with Christian schools and traditions of spirituality, a “healing guide” can be developed as a significant resource in walking with one who is broken in the journey toward wholeness.

Recognizing that our goal is psycho-spiritual, we seek not just to help the post- abortive individual return to pre-abortive attitudes, behaviors, beliefs and commitments, for they might have actually predisposed and facilitated the abortion decision. Instead, we seek to help the individual integrate the wound of abortion into his or her life in a true Paschal Mystery sense, identifying with the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

Christ has died. My baby has died.
Christ is risen. My baby will rise.
Christ will come again. And when he does, He will carry my baby in His arms and hand him/ her to me.

The healing process is not just one of reconciliation, but reunion and healing as well.

Perhaps the post-abortive woman or man is one who especially values tradition and is inclined to “connect the dots” between past, present and future. This is a person who would seek to commemorate events in the life of Jesus and also to entrust her/his child to the Child Jesus., the Healer Jesus, the Merciful Jesus, the Consoling and Compassionate Jesus. This is one whose healing process or journey, in a sense, parallels an Ignatian spirituality, in the spirit of St. Ignatius Loyola. The seeker of healing would do well to learn more about the spirituality of St. Ignatius Loyola, for it would complement her/his journey to Jesus and His loving embrace.

Perhaps the post-abortive woman or man is drawn to action and opportunity – a life centered in actively seeking to do God’s will. Spontaneous prayer, informal prayer, and a special openness to the Holy Spirit, as well as acts of loving service, are all parts of this person’s “spiritual profile” and inclinations. All these characteristics are common to a Franciscan spirituality. Compassion for the “lepers” of our day and a deep appreciation for the beauty, gift and goodness of God’s creation, may lead a mournful mother or father to plant a flower or a tree in memory of their aborted child. This is a gesture, when combined with a sacramental and prayerful experience, that may contribute significantly to healing.


Many schools or traditions of spirituality have emerged in the 2000 year tradition of the Catholic Church. In studying them, one can easily see a beautiful “tapestry of life and faith,” where many colors and threads intermingle with each other. The soul who hungers for healing may, in the last analysis, draw eclectically from aspects of many spiritual traditions. We have look, briefly, at only a few in the preceding paragraphs. Though we are all certainly made in God’s image and likeness, there is a uniqueness and individuality to each of us that can help heal all of us, especially those who carry the wounds of abortion in the memories of their lives. At the center, there is always a loving Jesus, ever seeking to lead us to the Father, through the gentle power and presence of the Holy Spirit.


Priests for Life Welcomes New Full-Time Priest on Pastoral Staff

Fr. Scott Daniels, OP, has joined the full-time Pastoral staff of Priests for Life. A Dominican priest serving in Catholic education in Memphis, Fr. Daniels explains, “ Over the past several years, I have distinctly perceived God’s call to work full time for the defense of the unborn. I find too little said on the matter of abortion and less preached from our pulpits. … Quite frankly, my mind and heart have been animated with the reality of Judgment Day where all the innocents will be present and they will ask us all—“Did love not compel you to come to our rescue?””

Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director, said, “Fr. Daniels has what it takes to advance the cause of life: a deep passion for what is right, and an equally deep compassion for those tempted to do wrong. We welcome him to our pastoral team with joy.”

Fr. Daniels will travel the country, preaching and teaching the Gospel of Life, ministering to the pro-life movement, and helping pro-life groups to develop strategies and relationships with various ministries of the Church. Above all, he will encourage his brother priests. “ I truly believe that priests are especially invaluable to this ministry,” Fr. Daniels said. “It is from priests at the altar offering the Mass, in the Confessional reconciling souls to God and in the pulpit proclaiming and preaching the Gospel that the Church hears the truth.”

Find out more about Fr. Daniels at www.priestsforlife.org/frscott.

Summer Novenas

This summer, we invite you to participate in and promote two special novenas. The details, and the prayers for each, in English and Spanish, can be found at www.PrayerCampaign.org. Please mention these in your emails, on your websites, and in newsletters and parish bulletins. Assumption Novena for Life: August 7-15 Novena to Blessed Mother Teresa: August 28-September 5

Two Crucial Areas of Outreach

African American Outreach

Dr. Alveda King, Director of African American Outreach now has her own blog at www.priestsforlife.org/africanamerican/blog

Spanish Outreach

Our Spanish outreach continues to grow. Fr. Victor Salomón, Priest Associate and Director of Hispanic Outreach has filmed our first Defending Life Series in Spanish! Defendiendo La Vida will consist of 13 episodes and will begin airing on EWTN in the Fall. For more details and for more Priests for Life resources in Spanish, visit www.SacerdotesPorLaVida.org.

Order Key Pro-life Products!

Order at www.priestsforlife.org/store or mail your order to: Priests for Life, P.O. Box 141172, Staten Island, NY 10314; Or fax: (718) 980-3900; Or Email: orders@priestsforlife.org.

Pro-life Reflections for Every Day

Pre-order Fr. Frank’s new book, Pro-life Reflections for Every Day, and enrich your daily prayer life with new vigor to stand up for the unborn!

Homilies from the EWTN Live Televised Mass

Pre-order two new CD’s (Volume 5 and 6) of Fr. Frank’s inspiring homilies on EWTN are now available! These newest homilies were given during his taping at the network earlier this year.

 


 

Priests for Life

Priests for Life
PO Box 141172
Staten Island, NY 10314
Tel. 888-PFL-3448, (718) 980-4400
Fax 718-980-6515
Email mail@priestsforlife.org

Subscribe to Fr. Frank's bi-weekly prolife column (free): subscribe@priestsforlife.org 

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