Friday, November 7, 2008

Please read to the end

A lot of words have been said about the election and how Catholics voted. Some very intelligent and insightful people have asked "how can Catholics vote for a pro-choice candidate"? May I offer a possibility?

I think as pro-life Catholics we have a tendency to demonize the women who have chosen to have abortions. We can't even imagine choosing to commit such a horrific act and so we imagine these women to be horrible selfish monsters.

I don't know about you, but I have known women who have had abortions. None of them fall into that category. Most of the women I know are the ones who regret their abortion whether they do so publicly or privately. It is usually around the time that they have their first child. That beautiful occasion really seems to drive home the pain of the misguided decision they made. We all know the ploys that abortion centers and PP use to convince these frightened confused women that they are just "taking care of a problem" or just getting rid of a "bunch of cells" not a baby. My heart breaks for these women. They were victims of the abortion just like their children and their hearts usually break when they come to this understanding. Most of them spend the rest of their life beating themselves up and grieving for the child that they lost.

Then, you have those women who come to the same realizations, but the pain is so great that it is unbearable. So, in order to keep this pain from ripping them apart inside, they employ a very common defense mechanism...denial. If they deny that abortion is murder, then they did not commit murder. If they deny that a fetus is actually a child, then nobody was murdered. And they have to defend this belief with everything they've got, including their vote.

Now, does that mean that every Catholic woman who voted for Obama has had or has been party to an abortion? No. I believe that some of them are products of their environment and some of them aren't really Catholic. If I was raised vegetarian and still like to eat vegetables along with my chicken, pork and beef, can I call myself a vegetarian? Well, who's going to stop me? I find it incredibly disappointing to see people who call themselves Catholic supporting anyone who is in favor of abortion because even though our faith education might have been lacking during our formative years, the resources we have available to us now are pretty clear.

But, being a member of the Catholic Church isn't like joining a club or a group even though a lot of people see it that way. It is the gift Our Lord gave us to never be separated from Him. And that gift teaches us to love the sinner, hate the sin. We need to pray for those women still in pain from their abortions. Those women who still hate themselves so much even if all you can see is the hatred they pile on you. Those women who lie to themselves to protect themselves from the unbearable grief they can't bear to feel even though all you hear are the lies they tell others. Those women who probably couldn't even keep reading this far without feeling rage rise up inside of them. Pray that someday they will seek forgiveness for the part they played, true repentance and that they will have the courage to admit that abortion not only hurts babies, but hurts women too.

We can't change minds until we change hearts. We know these women are in pain. We know they are so fragile they can't even admit that pain to themselves. We know our new president-elect wants to sign FOCA as soon as he slides into that oval office. Let's implore St. Martin de Porres to turn his heart to the beauty of these innocent lives. Let's ask our perfect mother in Heaven to soften the hearts of these mothers who hide their pain behind a wall of anger and/or "reason". Let's change hearts and minds by being honest about the damage abortion does to everyone involved.

It is remarkable how even today his influence can still move us toward the things of heaven. Sad to say, not all of us understand these spiritual values as well as we should, nor do we give them a proper place in our lives. Many of us, in fact, strongly attracted by sin, may look upon these values as of little moment, even something of a nuisance, or we ignore them altogether. It is deeply rewarding for men striving for salvation to follow in Christ's footsteps and to obey God's commandments. If only everyone could learn this lesson from the example that Martin gave us.

~from a homily by Blessed Pope John XXIII given at the canonization of Saint Martin de Porres


  1. Very well put Charlotte.

    I've seen so many people so down about the outcome of the election and seem to forget somehow that God is in control and always has been, even if the person we think should have won (because we've prayed) didn't win.

    Love is the only way we will win hearts. We can't show love if we are mad at those who don't believe like us.

  2. This is a terrific post, Charlotte. I love that you see the good in everyone.

    -"Let's change hearts and minds by being honest about the damage abortion does to everyone involved."

    This is so necessary. It isn't good enough to say we agree to disagree. Such easy language as this only makes us feel better, and gives an excuse to avoid discomfort. We need to speak up about abortion - what it is, what the act in its various forms does to a helpless infant (sometimes using images), what it does to a mother and to society. We must remind our friends of other times persons were treated as subhuman (slaves and holocaust victims). Let us not use false senses of "love" and "kindness" as an excuse to omit speaking truthfully. True Love and Truth are one and the same. If we desire our neighbor to be with Christ we will reveal His Truth as best as we can, to bring as many souls as possible to Him. And our discourse, though frank, should always be kind.

    One day we will have to account for our omissions just as mothers will have to account for their abortions. And I fear we will be judged with more severity because we know better.

    "And that servant who knew the will of his lord, and prepared not himself, and did not according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him much shall be required." - Luke 12:47-48

    (Okay, I'm sorry this is so long. Perhaps I'm going through blog withdrawl! :)

  3. Very good points Charlotte. I had a very close friend in High School who made that decision, and couldn`t bear it. As I consoled her she wouldn`t let me even try to help her heal...she said it wasn`t her first and that she was evil. She was so broken, I will never forget that :(((

    I also tend to believe this is a minority issue, black women primarily. Poverty income and uneducated. As women we need to reach out them.

    I also believe the government can do some positive things. After this election I started asking,

    Why is an abortion easier than adoption?

    It seems, the opposite should be the case. I think if the states looked at their adoption laws (at least here) there could be some changes implimented for the good. Personally, I`d like to see a women`s home for those who find themselves in this situation...but that will take some time ;P

  4. What a wonderful post. I have a good friend who claims to be agnostic. I know she had an abortion in her late teens and she completely falls into the denial category you so perfectly described. She comes across as a very hard and aggressive woman. She is highly intelligent and very kind, but she won't let anyone close and I honestly think she has shut herself off because of the grief she doesn't want to deal with. Naturally she is extremely pro-choice and very liberal in other ways too. She knows my feelings on the issue, but also knows I don't judge her, nor would I judge anyone in that position without having walked in their shoes. I wish I could figure out some way to reach out to her, but I'm stumped. I know she is a good person, but I don't know that she will ever be happy if she shuts herself off from other people and puts on this masculine and aggressive armour.

  5. You make good points, Charlotte. Prayer changes things, and we must pray for the conversion of the people. As God knocked Saul off his horse and he awoke to God's goodness, we must pray that those who choose death are awakened to the reality of abortion and embrace life instead.

  6. I agree with you wholeheartedly, Charlotte. We must not demonize these women and must, instead, try to intercede as best we're able. Before and after their abortions, we must be there.

    I will admit that I do tend to demonize the doctors and the nurses who perform the abortions, for they see what they are doing. How hard their hearts must be! I don't get it I don't get it I don't get it I don't get it.

  7. Kristen,
    You feel free to come on over here and vent in the combox anytime you want, darlin'!!!

    Oh and Margaret, I do agree that the doctors and nurses cannot say that they didn't know what they were doing!

  8. I would like to thank you for this post. I had an abortion when I was in college. At the clinic they told me it was just a bundle of cells. It wasn't until I became pregnant with my first child that I realized it was a baby that I killed.
    I am a Christian, and I know I have the forgiveness of God. What I don't, and never will have is the forgiveness for myself.
    Thank you for your compassion.

  9. Well-manneredfrivolity, what beautiful courage you have to speak up. I will be praying for you.

  10. Beautiful, truly Christian post.

  11. And don't forget that God can change hearts - and we can be instruments of that. Write a letter to Obama today about why are are opposed to abortion.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts and yourself!