A sphere of clarity, color and light -- with an infinite amount of room inside!
Oh that is beautiful. Thank you, Leila.
To all the mothers who weren't able to raise their children (due to abortion or other deaths), my thoughts and prayers are with you today.DD
As a person raised Protestant who was in my youth shown almost exclusively the ugly face of "Catholicism" (now having many Catholic friends and having spoken with priests, I realize that many of these views were from people hiding behind the label who liked to hand out damnation as if it were candy and they were Willy Wonka), it's extremely gratifying to see a Catholic acknowledging the pain of women who underwent abortion. I know of several women who are haunted by the untimely end of their pregnancy (one of them, a minor at the time, was legally forced by her parents to spare them the "shame"), and I know many of them fear that God has permanently kicked them out of the salvation pool, so to speak, even if the choices left to them by earthly forces had been abortion or death. Many who claim to speak for God will state clearly that mothers whose children were aborted are universally and completely damned--"Evangelicals," "Fundamentalists," "Catholics," you name the group, someone in it will readily tell a woman in great detail exactly where she will go after death. I'd be curious, though, what a real Catholic would say in response to that crippling fear.
Ru, thank you so much for the opportunity to show what a real Catholic would say. Here is Pope John Paul II:Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life): "I would like to say a special word to women who have had an abortion. The Church is aware of the many factors which may have influenced your decision, and she does not doubt that in many cases it was a painful and even shattering decision. The wound in your heart may not yet have healed. Certainly what happened was and remains terribly wrong. But do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope. Try rather to understand what happened and face it honestly." "If you have not already done so, give yourselves over with humility and trust to repentance. The Father of mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness and his peace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. You will come to understand that nothing is definitely lost and you will also be able to ask forgiveness from your child, who is now living in the Lord." "With the friendly and expert help and advice of other people, and as a result of your own painful experience, you can be among the most eloquent defenders of everyone's right to life. Through your commitment to life, whether by accepting the birth of other children or by welcoming and caring for those most in need of someone to be close to them, you will become promoters of a new way of looking at human life." -- Pope John Paul IIThe above is an excerpt from the Encyclical letter of Pope John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life) 1995, #99Also, there is Rachel's Vineyard, a post-abortive healing retreat for men and women. I have a friend who is a counselor for those retreats. The Church stands ready at every moment to help the women heal. So often abortion is coerced (as you mentioned).I can't speak for the intolerant and cruel (since I don't see a lot of those types of "Catholics" thank goodness), but I can speak for my own friends and diocese:http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2011/03/pro-lifers-love-fetus-but-they-dont.htmlThanks for a very important comment and perspective! Are you still a Protestant?
My current status is best described as halfway in-between. I am convinced that transubstantiation, not consubstantiation, takes place during the sacrament of Communion, but I am still not convinced of the absolute necessity (as opposed to the vast helpfulness) of the Church for salvation; Jesus said "I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture," (John 10:9). He does not say "if anyone enters through the Church."
Ru, I can help you with that: The Church allows that others besides Catholics can be saved. Definitely. They are saved by the grace of Christ, and Christ alone. Of course, we would say that Christ and His Church cannot be separated. He is the head of the Body, i.e., the Church. He is the Bridgegroom and His Church is the Bride. Heads and bodies are one. Bridegroom and Bride are one. Now, can one be saved without being a card-carrying member of the Church? Of course. It's just a whole lot easier to go the way Christ set up -- the sacraments. While we are bound by the sacraments (happily!), God is not bound by His sacraments. There are ordinary and extraordinary ways that God saves His people.Hope that helps!
Hi RU and Leila...Oh I'd love to jump in here. I was a Protestant convert to Catholicism (14 years ago) and I must say, it was through the grace of the sacrament of the Confessional where my post-abortive healing began. I know exactly what you mean by the condemnation and judgment. The worst of my torturers was ME. Not only did I feel unworthy as a Protestant after my abortion but then, when I began investigating the truths of the Catholic Church, I really felt that there would be a great and terrible day of reckoning. What surprised me most about this was the love that surrounded me as I began sharing my story (albeit very carefully at first) with some close friends who happened to be Catholic. They cried with me and helped me wipe my own tears. Since I've shared my story at various levels, I am always thanked by my fellow pro-lifers (the majority of them Catholic) and encouraged to keep telling the story so that others can learn and be encouraged about the great Hope that set me free and Reason for my joy . RU, I am encouraged by your candor and your questions. It sounds like you landed on the Bubble under the guidance of some Divine Providence. Rachel's Vineyard is an excellent healing process and there are some others that you can investigate. If there's ever a way I can help you, I would love to be here for you in the same way that others have for me. Leila knows how to reach me. Thanks for being on the bubble :-) Blessings to you both. Karen Wms, Phoenix
PLEASE, when commenting, do not hit "reply" (which is the thread option). Instead, please put your comment at the bottom of the others. To ensure that you don't miss any comments, click the "subscribe by email" link, above. We often have meaty and long discussions -- trust me, they're worth following!