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When it started, I decided to set my watch timer to see how long it took. I came away from it like, wow, what was that all about? I was so peaceful and calm just then —I wished it was a little longer. The next morning, Michael got up early and had nowhere to go before the funeral. He drove by his high school, he drove to the swamp where he thought Rapp was going to kill him.

I figured that God would not hold me accountable for lack of faith or practice. As I drove by St. I pulled up in front of the church doors and I just stared at them. It was am on Saturday, the funeral did not start until Michael wanted to see the stained-glass windows that he remembered from his childhood. Michael says he resolved that he was not going to confession, but would go in for a look around. Nevertheless, he found himself in line.

I felt the same as I did when I was 15 being summoned out of biology class by Fr. It was the exact same feeling in my chest and in my legs. I had not planned on it. In fact, I planned on never doing it. The confessional was tiny.

Forgive and Forget Hard? 12 Reasons Why You Can’t Move On

The priest seemed kind. Michael says the priest let out a good laugh when he said it was 28 years since his last confession. His face changed immediately. He knew of Fr.

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I told him that I just wanted to have my faith back and that Fr. Ken of the Oblates told me I would need to go to confession for that to happen. Michael says that the priest began to speak about the devil, whom St. Peter describes as prowling a lion. Michael, a veteran of numerous volunteer projects in Africa, had seen more than a few lions. He says he found a spiritual metaphor for his PTSD. I had a disability from the strike of the lion - I was dialed into what this priest was telling me.

The priest explained that forgiveness is not primarily for the benefit of the person who has hurt you, it is a liberation for the one who forgives.

Forgiveness and Healing for the Post-Abortive | True Woman Blog | Revive Our Hearts

I became tearful in the confessional. The priest also told Michael to pray the rosary, a simple recommendation that, Michael says, 24 hours earlier he would have dismissed out of hand. Having so recently experienced the peace of prayer, he embraced the direction.

And it was really good! He arrived to hear the second reading, from St. A few months later, Michael was running early one morning, by himself. He came to a sudden stop in the snow. I forgave all the people who had abused and used me, driven me from the Church: Fr. Rapp, Fr. Francis, all of them, all at once. It was powerful. Michael says he dropped to his knees on the trail, sobbing in the dark and thanking God for the freedom to forgive.

By the grace of God I finally found my way back to the Faith last year and came to understand many good things, including what it means to forgive. I forgave you with God as my only witness and it was a tremendous liberation of your unknowing grip. I do not carry the hatred for you that I spoke about at your trial. Rather, I want you to know that I forgive you for the multiple felony counts, and the psychological and spiritual inflictions that followed for decades.

I am healed, I have received many blessings, and I truly forgive you. I hope that you will make an appeal to heaven for the forgiveness you need from above.

The McCarrick scandal, he says, he took in his stride, but the Pennsylvania grand jury report was something else. I was not as strong as I thought. I had to stop reading it, and it knocked me down really hard. Michael says he is still in therapy, but in a way that expressly affirms his faith. The real road to recovery, he says, may take longer than he hoped or imagined. I believe Catholicism is at the intersection of faith and reason. I am fascinated with our Faith. With 26 priests murdered in the last six years, Mexico received a prominent mention in the He tore the paper into small pieces, nervously.

Michael was then 15 years old. About half that amount the Church would eventually reimburse.


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Therapy helped, Michael told CNA. But what really helped was learning to forgive. Michael says nothing had prepared him for such a situation. They sat in silence.

The Healing of Forgiveness

Halfway home Rapp slowed down and pulled over in the middle of a stretch of marshland. Amid priest murders, religious freedom situation in Mexico draws concern With 26 priests murdered in the last six years, Mexico received a prominent mention in the Priest and key witness in nun rape case found dead A priest who had been a key witness in the charge of rape against Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Guilt draws us toward God, but shame sends us far from Him. After having an abortion, Vicky struggled with both guilt and shame, and she thought she was a terrible person.

Rather it is in who she is as a child of God.

The Divine Gift of Repentance

But like many women, there are times when she has to remind herself of a vital truth. I showed shame the door. And you can, too. Terri Reisser, a licensed marriage and family therapist, has been counseling post-abortive women since They say relief is the most common reaction immediately following an abortion. Because the initial crisis of an unwanted pregnancy is gone. However, as time goes by, the post-abortive woman is often left with an inward question. How could she allow herself to grieve the loss of her child when she herself made the decision to have the abortion?

If you are asking this question, grieving may be just what you need to walk across the bridge of healing. In their booklet Healing the Hurt , the Reissers give several ways you could do this:. Also, you may want to learn about The National Memorial for the Unborn.

Located in Chattanooga, Tennessee, it is dedicated to remembering children lost from abortion and miscarriage. These plates were placed there by their mothers, fathers, and other family members. For many loved ones, remembering a child in this way has helped them work through the grieving process. Often women who are going through the grief of post-abortion cry for long periods of time.