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Rachel, Cease your Mourning

At the age of 19, 1 found myself pregnant; and since I had found out after the time of conception (but before the realization of the pregnancy) that the father had taken some drug in the form of a pill that "made the white lines of the highway look like clouds," I thought I had no choice but to terminate the pregnancy. Guided by guilt and fear, my warped sense of reason told me that the baby could not possibly have been normal and therefore I had to abort it.

At this time in my life I had been drifting farther and farther way from God. The world was pulling for my attention to make something out of the "nothing" l believed myself to be. I was very detached from any emotion about this abortion because I was clinging, out of guilt and fear, to this belief that I really had no choice. So I had very little remorse, only a strange sort of numbness about the whole thing. For the next six or so years, my life went on with sin upon sin upon sin doing things that the "master of lies" told me would build me up, make me feel important and special, but they only continued to pull me down and make me feel more and more empty.

Then I met the man who would become my husband, and after several years we were engaged to be married. I began to go to church again in preparation for my marriage; it seemed the right thing to do. We were married, and I soon became pregnant. I went to church more regularly to pray that this baby would be all right (because I felt I really didn't deserve to have a perfect baby). Well this baby was perfect! And as I held this beautiful baby in my arms, I felt God's unconditional love for me … nothing had ever meant so much or had filled me with such a sense of meaning or draw out my love as much as that precious little baby. God was beginning to bring me home to His loving arms.

Satan became angry and I felt his pull … one night as I held my baby I felt Satan say to me, "This baby is so defenseless and so small and you are so strong and powerful that you could suffocate this baby so very easily"… I was shocked at this thought in my head and I thought, "This can't be me thinking this way! What kind of a mother could I be if I could have a thought like this! God Help Me!" Then I looked at my beautiful baby again and a sense of Peace came over me and I said, "I will never harm this baby. This baby is a miracle, a gift from God and I will Love him and care for him forever!" (Don't you think this may be one reason for postpartum depression? - Along with the very delicate hormonal and emotional state a woman is in; a spiritual war takes place probably caused by Satan's anger at God's pure Love that baby brings into a mother's life … Well that's my interpretation of what happened to me since I became more aware of the spiritual reality of life.)

Last year, by the Grace of God, I came out of my spiritual coma. I went to my first healing Mass, and not understanding the need for spiritual healings I assumed I needed to decide what I would ask to be healed from. Since I have no physical illnesses (that I know of), I decided that I would ask to have my eyes healed. I am very nearsighted and can not function without glasses or contact lenses. Then I thought, "That's very selfish, there are people who are blind and here I am asking for my sight to be made better... I'll just ask to "See" God's Will for my life. Well, among some other amazing things leading up to the laying on of hands, which made me forget about myself and pray for two other people very sincerely and focused, already thanking God for the miracles he had performed by getting them there that night, I was "slain in the Spirit" and as I lay on the floor my eyelid started to twitch and then twitch in another spot and then again in the other eye and then more and more until my eyes were twitching like crazy. I felt this and thought, "THIS IS REALLY NEAT! My eyes are being healed!". Well, my physical eyesight was not healed that night or any other night, but I believe, my spiritual eyes were beginning to be healed, because, since that time I have had such a strong desire to read about my faith, learn, pray, and better participate in the Mass and just grow as a Catholic. Soon after that Healing Mass, I attended a "Life in the Spirit" Seminar, which strengthened my desire. The Holy Spirit, I believe, has led my desire along a path of believing in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, the importance of confession, the reality of graces obtained in the sacraments, the value of sitting before the Blessed Sacrament, the Rosary, Divine Mercy, the importance of praying for the dead, what it means to be a true Catholic, and where I am now, realizing how totally ungrateful I am and how indifferent I am and what a miserable sinner I am, having so many sins to overcome and virtues to pray for and work toward, to be blessed with God's Grace to realize these truths and still not act on them enough. (May God have mercy on my soul).

(I should add that my husband thinks I'm nuts, he was very irritated with me, at first , that I went from going to church less than every Sunday to this "Obsession". He apparently had been aware of some men through work that had become "weird born-again" people, one had left his family to live in a commune, etc. I assured him that that behavior didn't sound Christian to me at all and that my faith should make me a better wife and mother if I change at all. He has since calmed down about it but he thinks I over do it with the children; saying grace before "every" meal and saying four short prayers before bed. He does say The Our Father and Hail Mary with the children before bed so I am grateful for that. (my goal is to say a family Rosary). He is a very good man, but is still blinded by the world to our spiritual reality and I hate the sin but love the sinner.

One day I was informed by one of my co-volunteers, that a thoughtful parishioner had donated a selection of Pro-Life videos. I had heard about some of these videos and decided that I should watch them so I could accurately explain to people who inquired what they were about. I thought I could "handle" these videos, after all, I had confessed this sin long ago (although, I had never believed that I had "felt" quite contrite enough for this sin). I watched two videos the first night, "The Abortion Providers" and "The Hard Truth". I CRIED… I was numb, VERY NUMB, went to sleep numb, I couldn't even think, the horror of what I had done kept flashing back in my mind. In the morning, I got the children ready, my son for kindergarten and my daughter to go with me to morning Mass. As I looked at them eating breakfast I said to myself, "I don't deserve them, after what I have done." Flashbacks from those videos kept on running through my head. I felt coldly numb, as if I were falling down a black hole and I started to despair, almost thinking that I didn't deserve to get out of that hole. I felt like that horrible cold numbness and approaching despair was suffocating me, wanting to drive me insane. I believe this was Satan, leading, me into despair and down that black hole …but by Gods grace I was able to reach out... I said "God, -You have to help me, I don't know how I can go on living my life, how can I look at my children each day and not think of the child that I killed? How will I ever be able to be happy again? " .. .. and I opened up my Bible. I just opened the Bible and looked at the page and my eyes fell I on Jeremiah 2115-20 and I read:

End of Rachel's mourning

Thus says the LORD.- In Ramah is heard the sound of moaning, of bitter weeping! Rachel mourns her children, she refuses to be consoled because her children are no more. Thus says the LORD, Cease your cries of mourning, wipe the tears from your eyes. The sorrow you have shown shall have its reward, says the LORD, they shall return from the enemy's land. There is hope for your future, says the LORD: your sons shall return to their own borders.

I hear, I hear Ephraim pleading: You chastised me, and I am chastened, I was an untamed calf. If you allow me I will return , for you are the LORD, my God. I turn in repentance; I have come to myself, I strike my breast, I blush with shame, I bear the disgrace of my youth. Is Ephraim not my favored son, the child in whom I delight often as I threaten him, I still remember him with favor; My heart stirs for him, I must show him mercy, says the LORD."

Although now I see what a grace this was, at that very emotional moment it didn't fully sink in. I went to morning Mass and cried all the way through it. After Mass I couldn't stop crying… a friend of mine came over and I shared what had happened, she was a blessing, another grace sent by God in his mercy. The next day she brought me a book "An Invitation to Healing" written by Fr. Peter McCall and Maryanne Lacy, who run a Healing ministry "House of Peace" in Bronx, New York. This book helped me to (begin to) understand God's unconditional love for us. (I have since read their second book, "Rise and be healed", which speaks about everyone's need to be healed about so many things in our lives.)

You know, I've been thinking about what happened and I know it was no accident that I was strangely numb about my abortion all those years, I believe it was God protecting me from the horror of my sin until I was ready to turn to him to be healed of it and to be able to accept his forgiveness. It was a blessing and He is always so gentle and loving. I know now that He watches over all His sheep and He will protect the next woman who wants to grow in Him as He has protected me, He has His reasons and His timing is perfect ... And I thank Him for His perfect plan of salvation in each one of our lives. Let us always seek to yield to His Holy Will.

Priests for Life
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