Reflections on loving God, being Catholic, being a woman, being ill, loving life and anything else that comes to mind.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Ash Wednesday – An Invitation

"Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34)

This Lent, please join me in praying for those who perform, those who assist in performing and those who support abortion. It’s easy for us to remember their victims but those who perform and support killing children suffer far more than we or they know, than we or they admit.

Those who abort children and those who support such unspeakable acts debase their own humanity, create a huge split in their hearts and psyches and inflict terrible damage on themselves. At the same time, they must become extremely adept at ignoring their own pain, at ignoring their natural repulsion to what they are doing – God did not create us to destroy children but rather to love and nurture them as he loves and nurtures us. We cannot know what their souls suffer. We do know that whenever we cut ourselves off from being fully human, we cut ourselves off from God.

So during Lent, please add a petition to your prayers for those who “know not what they do” to tiny babies, to their mothers and fathers, to all of us, and to themselves. Pray for the healing of abortionists and abortion supporters. They too are created in God’s image. They too are called to be heirs in hope to God’s kingdom. They desperately need our love. And if we are to be conformed to Christ’s image and likeness, then we must prayer for those who heartlessly cause suffering just as we pray for their victims. We must not close our hearts but must love as God loves us. Love isn’t a matter of what we feel but a matter of what we choose to do.

26 comments:

forget me not said...

Amen.

Anonymous said...

I can't amen this -- abortion providers need prayers, but to wake up and see who in hell's ugly demonic claws they've allowed their own blessed hands to gravitate into. There is no iffy mist around abortion anymore; even respectable Science's own former Mengele, Dr. Bernard Nathanson, who snuffed his own child along with 10,000 other folks' children by his own hand and oversaw (in "teaching") 5000 more in at least one school..perhaps also 5000 in another, has woken up. He has admitted that conceived human life IS human life. I think we might've known that simply based on the fact that none of us who were conceived AND delivered ever turned out to be squids after all.

Love,
HonoraCarol

Drusilla said...

It doesn't occur to me that abortionists and those who support abortion are misguided into thinking that an unborn child is not human. And yet HonoraCarol,they know not what they do. They do not know an unseen life is worth as more than their selfish desires or the cost to themselves and to all those they lead astray, all those they teach to be heartless and cruel.

Don't you think Pilot knew? And why is it only one centurion speaks: "Truly this was the son of God"? And what of the chief priests? What of the crowds who were stirred up? At the very least, didn't all know that something was seriously off? Of course they did.

And yet they didn't know. Neither do we except by faith. And while we have great reason not to pray for such people we have much greater reason to pray for them - our Lord's command. And who needs healing more? Finally, is it possible that someone prayed for Bernard Nathanson and that those prayers helped him see what was in front of his face all along? Isn't that something worth participating in? Isn't that what it means to be Catholic? To do the hard thing even when our hearts are repulsed?

Perhaps this is our cross. Perhaps this is our martyrdom. We can't have it both ways. We can't follow Christ without following him.

Anonymous said...

Yes. And I didn't say I didn't pray for them - I pray they grow some backbone. And indeed, it was the Fr. Pavones and the Druscilla's and the HC's and the convents and abbeys of the world who prayed for Nathanson, whom I welcome into the Church in his conversion as I would welcome a transformed GW Bush or binLaden. I cannot help thinking, however, that after 15,000 or 20,000 abortions which have been defined as a loss of human life from even before the time of Christ, everyone knows it is a killing, and that we shalt not. You are saying to pray for abortioners because they are wounded by what they do, and don't know it. I say, rather, that most don't give it that importance in their lives. Just as in warring on seen people, we have options. We can opt OUT. No one in America, at least (tho' perhaps in China, yes) is forced to perpetrate an abortion. Here, is is sheer industry, into which great thought has come about. Ask Planned Parenthood. I pray, but I will spend no sympathy on surgeons who translate that little arm carved off and later counted among other parts, into his next trip to Vegas, nor even into his next trip in Doctors Without Borders. We know, from the age of seven, right from wrong.

I understand what you're saying, and I love you for saying it, for there is no one who more greatly needs our prayers than those who will not see.. but I myself can only pray for these folks' greater backbones, because their victims have outnumbered those in all wars.. and they and we know it.

Love and peace,
Carol

Drusilla said...

Then Carol, please continue to pray that they grow backbones or whatever it takes to open their eyes so that they will stop. You may feel no sympathy, you may only feel anger but in praying for them, despite what you feel, you love them as God loves them and that is a great witness to all of us.

God bless you,

Drusilla

PS - You've shown me what to write about after "Suffering" - which will be after another two or three posts. Thanks.

forget me not said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
forget me not said...

Drusilla and Carol,
this way of thinking is exactly what brought me to forgive my abusers. No matter how much I have suffered in my life, my suffering will not kill my soul if I can help it. My awareness of this has made my pain more painful, as it were. But no matter how wretched I may feel at times, I will never be as wretched as they are, and I would never want to be in their position. They are not aware, they don't feel the pain. It's like one of those symptomless diseases that you become aware of when it's gone wild. And so I pray. It's my duty.

Carlo Carretto once wrote: "If we ask the holy innocents if their sacrifice was worthwhile, they would say "yes, our sacrifice was consumed so that no one may escape from love." That is their prayer. May it be ours, too.

Anonymous said...

Well, we'd have to ask 50 million innocents of America, FMN, and that's just one nation. I think they'd say, "Stop them from killing us. I wanted to live."

Love,
Carol

forget me not said...

I know how strongly you feel about this. Pope John XXIII said something like we can and must condemn the idea (or the heartless acts of snuffing out lives, in this case) and we can feel horror towards those who perpetrate it, but we cannot put ourselves in the position to judge the person or persons who commit it. That is God's prerogative, not ours. Our efforts must be in defence of the babies who do not get a chance to live. But the law of love tells me I must love the souls of those who commit those acts, too. Love them enough to be able to pray for them, whether it be that that they grow a backbone or learn to see everything through God's eyes and repent. We have to trust him enough to give it over to Him, and to His Merciful Heart.

Drusilla said...

Precisely, FMN. We are called to do whatever we have been given to do. And when we can't forgive or relinquish our rage and anger, we can always ask God to work forgiveness in us, to heal our rage and make our anger a tool for the healing of the world.

We must never forget the babies and other victims. At the very same time, we must love and pray for those who kill them and for the crowds who cheer on the murderers. That's simply what it means to be conformed to Christ's image and likeness. And being conformed to him is what life is all aout.

Anonymous said...

We are all saying the same thing; I am only saying that I will not have pity on knowing and willing murderers who go back to their job day after day, nor on 30-something women who are heading in for their 3rd decapitation of God-given innocents.

Christ brought a sword not of this sort of peace, but of real peace: justice for the poor. There is no one more poor than those voiceless facing death because someone considered them unwanted. I did not have pity on Hitler, either. A man given a brain to think with, and look how he thought.. because others were quiet. He would've salivated over our great strides.

In my humble opinion, and it is humble and it is but opinion, what we need pray for, more than pity, more than eyes, is for men to come forward and claim what was raped of men - their rights as a co-creator (come for reasons of love, not ownership, but at this point, come together and come forward for whatever reasons). If we can move men, if we can make them fathers again, abortion will slow down tomorrow.

Love,
Carol

Anonymous said...

We all got to see a long drawn out abortion -- a cessation of conceived life based on selfish and confused criteria the color of old dog crap -- a couple of years ago. We saw it step by step, and we saw that not even a whole country full of legislators stopped it. Oh, trust me, I have sympathy for Judge Greer who had other cases to try.. one could see him tiring of this fight for death; and for George Felos who had easier bucks to make--and I know what it is to wake up to not doing right.. it takes a good long while for it to dissipate; and for Michael Schiavo who had set up a parallel marriage, a parallel wife, and brought children into this illicitness, while he killed someone else's daughter. Geez, what a nuisance that folks kept coming forward to save her! But finally, it stopped.

What did the Church/world say to Schiavo? "Oh, please don't." What did the Church/world say to child abusers? "Oh, please don't." What did we all say.. because certainly more of us prayed than not. I say, it's time to fast and pray not for love -- no, we have enormous love, albeit it results in our stealing cells from others -- but pray for Pilate to grow the backbone God gave us all.

forget me not said...

Alex Zanotelli says the time has come to make the concept of war tabu (be it conventional war, or the war against innocent budding lives or against children etc). I think what the Church/world, and we all said to Schiavo and the child abusers was what Jesus would have said, and how he would have said it.
It would be great if we could move men, but I think in reality, men put a lot of pressure on women re abortion. At least that's the way it is in Italy, where many women who abort are married and have other children. And still, I cannot help but feel pity for them, that they would make such a dire choice that will affect them and all of society deeply, even if they don't think so. If they knew what they were doing, they wouldn't do it. Prayer is a good answer, maybe the only one. But making it "tabu" might also be a good one, but it will take a long time and a lot of work, such as that done by priests for life. If a woman realizes that she DOES have other options, and if she knows she can COUNT ON someone or some organization for real help, things may just change for the better.

Drusilla said...

Carol -

Love does not kill infants. Love encourages life, stands up for life, lays down His own life so that we might live. Those who abort children, those who support them, those who use infants for experiments are not loving anyone. In truth, they hate life including their own.

Perhaps, what you describe as "backbone" is what FMN and I are also praying for. And it needn't include nice, warm feelings - those aren't love but sentiment. At the same time, we mustn’t expect that telling people they are doing wrong will convince them to stop. It usually won't. And prayer usually doesn't stop the carnage either. But that's not the purpose of prayer - to make others behave themselves. But prayer does allow us to participate in God's salvific acts: to be part of converting those who will accept conversion, to be a witness to those who persist in sin, to do as we have been commanded to do.

There is reason to be angry and outraged but we must not let our anger lead us into sin.

Anonymous said...

To be misunderstood is also a cross.

I remember thinking long ago how foolish an argument and reason to split it was, to argue over whether a follower of Christ had to be circumcised or not, when the bottom line was clearly that both disciples wanted - as Christ did - for all to come into the Kingdom. Both were reunited (and martyred). I will stave off that middle part.

Because you have asked for a specific prayer, because I believe in unity, and because you have showed me what I must do, too, I will give that prayer.

Love,
Carol

Drusilla said...

Carol -

Thank you and God bless you.

Drusilla

PS - And thank you for engaging. I'm so grateful.

forget me not said...

That's one of the drawbacks of the internet age. They're doing studies on it already,lol. But really, often it is no laughing matter. I think the written word in this type of context (comboxes, but also emails and blogs) can have some negative aspects to it, even if the writer's intentions are perfectly pondered and legitimately expressed.
Even though we all agree in substance, what one person expresses as a deep passion for justice, may come across as anger to the others involved in the discussion. And the just as passionate answer regarding another facet of the discussion can come across as pusillanimous wishy-washiness to the others.
If we were sitting at a table eating cheesecake and musing over this, it would have been a lot more enjoyable, for more reasons than just the cheesecake :-). But I can't help getting the feeling that something is not quite right. If I could look you in the eyes, Carol, or vice versa, we could see if what we're saying or how we're saying it is lacking charity or not. I wouldn't want to see pain in either of your eyes over something I've said. It's not a contest and it's not a matter of winning anyone over, right?

Drusilla said...

FMN -

No it's not a contest but in a sense, it is a matter of winning people over. I think part of the grace of the Body of Christ is that we remind each other and help each other become Christlike. If that’s what Carol means by “ [b]ecause you have asked for a specific prayer, because I believe in unity, and because you have showed me what I must do, too, I will give that prayer[,]” then in a sense she has been won over to praying for the perpetrators as well as the victims.

But I hope, Carol, you don’t feel beaten down. That would be horrible. And certainly cheesecake and a long chat would be useful. Please know, I love you and am so grateful for the opportunity to discuss this with you. I too forget. Sometimes I am so outraged at the foolishness and destruction we humans commit (and not just abortion but child abuse and so many other ugly actions), I just want to go about smacking people (I have a very fiery personality). Discussions such as this one help me to remember that I am called to love my enemies, even the really stupid, horrible ones.

God bless you both and have a lovely Sunday.

Drusilla

PS – Perhaps a conversation over cheesecake will occur some time.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry about it. It's only a combox. If I feel beaten down, it's one more molecule of Christ's shared. I gave the prayer at Mass. It can do no harm.

Have a great day.

Anonymous said...

It's really spooky to think that I communicate so badly in text that either of you thought I don't pray for all, especially those in most need of His mercy. I don't want to put up 50 million posts to prove it, you know? As I say-- I know for sure, now, it's better for me to speak in person with folks, which I am returning to on Tuesday morn.

And thank you - God bless you, too, Drusilla (and FMN).

Love,
Carol

Drusilla said...

Carol -

You are wonderful. God bless you.

Drusilla

Anonymous said...

Noo, not wonderful - I'm simply that one who shouts "No!" but does the yes thing nonetheless. If there is an angel of death, it'll likely ask God for some other to be sent when it's time to come collect Carol..

But I'll take that blessing of yours. Thank you.

Love,
Carol

Drusilla said...

Carol, all that means is you add spice.

forget me not said...

She is like tangy tabasco, my favorite seasoning no matter how hot!

Anonymous said...

Yes, those idiots who mangle or abuse others are to be heirs in hope, too. And so I spit the bile aside, and pray for their salving as well as their greater clarity and courage.

Oh, you people. As much as I don't want to -- as much as it draws me in and breaks me -- I love you.

Carol

Lily said...

I've just given you props on another blog site. In the grand scheme of things, that's no biggie. But my heart gives you the proper props, Drusilla. You have changed me, and I will write of this more, somewhere, because it is so important -- because it will increase love for others -- but for now, thank you.