Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Aborted Child And Redemptive Love

One of the things I had difficulty with when I realized that I needed to deal with my abortion was confession. I knew I needed to confess and wanted to do so, but found it extremely difficult to just walk into my nearest parish and say, "Bless me Father, it has been 20+ years since my last confession, and I killed my child." Rachel's Vineyard gave me the safe haven I needed to receive the healing I needed and to finally make that confession.
However for many women and men, they confess almost immediately upon realizing what they have done, but it doesn't "stick"; they feel the need to confess the abortion over and over again. The reason for this is that they can't forgive themselves. This is a key piece to the beginning of healing.
I came across this article on the Catholic Education Resource Center site. It is an article called An Imaginary Confession: The Aborted Child and Redemptive Love. It was written by Father Antoninus Wall, a Dominican priest. This imaginary confession takes place between the priest and a post abortive woman. The priest touches on many aspects of Catholic teaching on this topic as related to God's love and mercy, but also brings the woman's child into the equation explaining how the child is an intercessor and has sanctified the woman in her motherhood.  Click the link to read the imaginary confession.
The other thing that I struggled with and still do to some extent is my role as a mother. While I do not have earthly children of my own, I am still a mother. Every post-abortive woman needs to at some point accept that role so as to begin and then continue her relationship with her child. I am firmly convinced that while God used one of my earthly friends to bring me back to my faith, it started 21 years ago with my daughters prayers.
For more information on post abortion healing, go to the Rachel's Vineyard website.

Note: After discussing this article by Fr. Wall with our facilitator who has been running Rachel's Vineyard retreats in our archdiocese for over 10 years, I realized that while this imaginary confession raises some good points for someone who, like myself is further along in her healing, it may be troublesome for someone who is walking into confession fresh from an abortion. One point that my friend raised was the priest's penance to the woman in naming her child. While our penances are to be a source of healing for us, they are also seen as punishment. Naming our children should not be seen as a punishment.
So again, while I myself found much in Fr. Wall's pamphlet to help further my healing, it may not be quite so helpful to someone who has not experienced any healing yet. So please read and pass along with care and caution.
Kevin Burke is the co~founder of Rachel's Vineyard retreats. His wife Dr. Theresa Burke wrote the retreat for Rachel's Vineyard. They both have written extensively on the many aspects of post abortion syndrome and post abortion healing. Kevin has recently published a book that would be extremely helpful to priests. You can read more about his book,  Sharing the Heart of Christ by clicking the Rachel's Vineyard link above.


Thou Art Jules said...

I couldn't help but share this on my blog too! Thank you!

ocd sister said...

Karinann-- Your witness to the reality of the pain that abortion brings to women and the forgiveness that is readily available in the Sacrament of Reconciliation is beautiful. You have a child waiting for you in Heaven, interceding for you (in addition to your Guardian Angel and the heavenly court). But you can also be a spiritual mother just like women religious are mothers. Through your intercessory prayer and your oblation of pain and suffering, you can assist in the conversion of souls and save other children from being aborted and, thus, do what mothers do best: pray for, protect and nurture their children. That's more children and you could physically have whom through the grace of God you will meet in Heaven. God bless you and Our Lady keep you!

Karinann said...

Thank you both for your comments.
OCD Sister- thank you for your support and encouragement. Sometimes I still need that reminder of the good God can do with my pain and suffering through spiritual motherhood.

Colleen said...

Karinann, you are one of Jesus lights. You use your suffering to help others. Truly beautiful to see and what a witness you give to God's healing love. Blessings and hugs.

Mary said...

Karinann, this is wonderful! Thank you so much for posting this! I'm anxious to check out the link.

Mary said...

Karinann, thanks for that link!!! It is beautiful! I love the penance! That's exactly what I did for my miscarried daughter and it helped a lot! Great, great link!

Mary333 said...

God bless you, Karinann. Through you God will draw many women to healing. I am always touched when I read about you and your daughter and the healing the Lord has brought to your life. You have a powerful conversion story [I read it after I found your blog] and you are an incredible witness to God's love and mercy. I pray that the Lord draws those who need healing from abortion here and that your story may lead them home to God's heart where they belong. You and I may not have been born saints but by God's grace and goodness we will die saints if we trust in Him:)

Karinann said...

Colleen-thanks you as always for your support and encouragement and for the hugs :)

Mary- I am glad you liked the link and that naming your miscarried child helped with your healing.

Mary333- Yes indeed may we die as saints! Thank you for your support and kind words as well as for taking the time to read my conversion story.

Rachel M said...

What a powerful entry.

Gabriella said...

Thanks for the link, Karinann. I have passed it on to the young priest at my parish. Your testimony is also a fantastic aid to all the mothers who have sent a child to heaven.

HeartfeltHeartLook said...

Karinann, Your experience is the best voice, and I think you handled this post and the added post nicely. God bless you for that voice of yours ~ it is an awesome service to Him!

Karinann said...

Thank you Rachel M, Gabriella and Heartfelt for you comments and encouraging words.
Heartfelt- your comment actually summarizes JPII's words in his encyclical The Gospel of Life where he says that post-abortive women will become the best defenders of life... So I thank God that my voice can serve Him.

HeartfeltHeartLook said...

...summarizes JPII's words in his encyclical The Gospel of Life where he says that post-abortive women will become the best defenders of life... So I thank God that my voice can serve Him.

Gave me chills!

Karinann said...

Thanks Heartfelt- I know what you mean.That encyclical gave me chills the first time I read it. I was grateful for the forgiveness; I never imagined back then that my story would help to defend life!

Michael said...

That was a very moving post and article. God is certainly working through you to inspire and teach others. May he continue to bless you!

Closing Prayer

Psalm 45: Canticle of Love to the King

My heart overflows with a good theme;
I address my verses to the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
You are fairer than the sons of men;
Grace is poured upon Your lips;
Therefore God has blessed You forever.

Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O Mighty One,
In Your splendor and Your majesty!
And in Your majesty ride on victoriously,
For the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
Let Your right hand teach You awesome things.
Your arrows are sharp;
The peoples fall under You;
Your arrows are in the heart of the King’s enemies.

Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of joy above Your fellows.
All Your garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made You glad.
Kings’ daughters are among Your noble ladies;
At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.