81 MILES ?!?!


About a year ago–after reading the (Extremely Horrifying!) article entitled “Applause from Hell,” by Fr. Frank Pavone, late at night and becoming so upset I could not sleep; crying and throwing up all night (but praying also)– I vowed that I would never read or watch anything that had some type of warning on it about graphic images of abortion or related topics, late at night, alone, again.

Up to this point, I’d done pretty well.  Then I ran into a wall–literally –as pathetic as that pun seems.  Georgia Right to Life has a pretty powerful presentation about the Personhood Movement’s “Holocaust Memorial Wall,” and although I could hear the music and feel that I was going to get upset, I went ahead and watched the whole thing through.  Darn it.

Now, this is not upsetting in the SAME way that Fr. Pavone’s article about partial birth abortion was, (nor the first time I heard what that procedure was–Jeff Cavins explained it on Morning Air;  I was driving to work, and had to pull over to put myself back together after crying and crying…)  But there is something very upsetting about it.  For me, anyway.

I think that it is the part in which they compare the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, which is 500 feet long, to what a physical Holocaust Memorial Wall would be:  81 MILES LONG!  I actually cannot even fathom this.  I’ve never seen the Vietnam Memorial but I know that it’s powerful, and when I get to DC, I will see it if possible, especially since my Dad is a Vietnam vet.  But 81 MILES?  How does one even envision that?

Even more upsetting to me, however, is that that is only representative of the 50 Million lives lost to SURGICAL abortions.  This does not include the unknown millions lost to chemical abortions as well!  How could one even begin to fathom the number of people our society has massacred?  How can God even let us continue to live, as a nation?  How can we ever live “normal” lives, knowing this has happened, here in our own towns, in neighboring towns, possibly in my own neighbor’s house?  I never CAN come to grips with it; with all of the sickness and greed and disrespect that has built this culture of death, and continues to feed it.

I never have figured out HOW to deal with the emotions that come up inside of me?  Violent anger at the horror of it all, physical sickness just thinking about it, disgust at myself for knowing it is happening and not doing enough (?) to stop it.  Utter confusion at the ridiculous mental gymnastics I hear people doing in order to convince themselves that “it’s not a baby.”  But more than anything, the temptation to despair that there is nothing I can do about it, ONE housewife, with one child who keeps me pretty much hopping every minute of every day, which limits the amount of time (and energy) I can devote to pro-life work…

Or does it?  I constantly have to tell myself that my prayers, my witness every time I go anywhere with my son, (which is virtually every time I leave the house,) and how I treat him, my attending prayer vigils, learning more about (and resisting) the politics that are shaping this culture of death in which we live, supporting others and talking with them about their experiences of being lied to or coerced into going on the pill, or having an abortion; all these things make a difference.  Why?  Because one person at a time, I can help to heal those parts of society which I come into contact with that are hurting.

With over 50 million babies having been aborted in our country, there is no doubt that there are MILLIONS of women, men, and families everywhere that are hurting.  This is why I feel so strongly the need to learn more about, and get involved with post-abortive healing work.  I know that just statistically speaking, many abortions are for “repeat” clients, so it just makes sense that to end abortion, one of the first things we need to do is prevent these second, third, etc. abortions, by reaching out to those women who have had one, and helping them understand it, and heal.   Right now, my husband and I are working towards the goal of starting a new Rachel’s Vineyard site here in our area (Northern/Central WI.)  We will see in the upcoming year, when we attend a retreat, if we feel it is the particular way in which we want to take part in this ministry, or not.  Something has continually pulled me to find out more about this particular organization though, so I am hoping that it does turn out to be a “good fit,” both for them and for us.

The other thing that I feel very strongly about is that the way women see themselves is directly leading to the ability of Planned Parenthood and others like them to get their lies into people’s lives.  I really believe that it is so important to teach women, particularly young women, about their own self-worth, dignity and beauty.

My personal belief is that it is not enough just to fight the culture of death.  I think the only way to make any change is to build the culture of life, of love, of respect for ourselves and others.   There is a fantastic new book out by Carl Anderson and Msgr Eduardo Chavez, entitled Our Lady of Guadalupe:  Mother of the Civilization of Love.  In this book the authors discuss Our Lady’s apparitions to St. Juan Diego (of course!) and also their significance, not just at the time she appeared to him, but also for our modern civilization, especially in relation to Ven. Pope John Paul II’s charge that America should lead the world in the New Evangelization.

I will write much more about this book in another post, but one thing the authors point out in the book that supports this idea is that

“…while other Marian apparitions (such as those at Fatima and Lourdes) included words of admonishment or even warnings, Our Lady of Guadalupe’s only words of spiritual guidance are her gentle but persistent reminders to Juan Diego about love:  a love that can be trusted, a love that gives dignity, a love that is personal. If we are to see in her words an answer to a spiritual problem, the spiritual problem it answers is a lack of love and a lack of understanding about love as relationship rather than as practice. The Guadalupan message is, in its originality, a spiritual education, an education in love.”1

I mentioned before, the only way I can see anything changing in this world is through love.  There is nothing wimpy about it.  Gentle, yes–as we see in the example set by Our Lady–but there is great power in every thing she says.  I truly believe that that love she speaks of, and models for us, has the power to change the entire world!


Our Lady of Guadalupe, please pray for us!


❦                                        ❦                                        ❦


1 Anderson, Carl A., and Eduardo Chávez. Our Lady of Guadalupe: Mother of the Civilization of Love. New York: Doubleday, 2009.


Published in: on December 31, 2009 at 3:09 AM  Leave a Comment  
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