Lenten Group March 7/Humility


Abortion is a huge cross that can often feel insurmountable. It is no wonder so many flee into
denial, hiding in their justification and rationalization.
It is not easy to acknowledge we participated in the death of our children and impossible
without knowing the mercy and love of God.
It’s common for us to think we need to do something to earn our healing or to think outside
sources will make break it. We look to others and ourselves to find the answers. Certainly
learning abortion ‘s impact, working through its trauma is a crucial step to healing.
We can blame it on other things, even use language that softens the truth of what abortion is
thinking that will somehow assist in healing.

While it is so important to look at what we did and “face it honestly” so we can understand
why, it does not change the seriousness of the sin.
I grow concerned at times that much like other side we may water it down in through false
True compassion and love mean standing at the cross with all its misery. Looking at the love
and mercy of God at the same time.
The place of excruciating pain is taken on by ultimate love. That is the place we find our healing
by looking at Him and truly surrendering our misery in humility.
Not watering down the sin but surrendering it in truth knowing in his cross and resurrection


Reflection: Briana

The interesting thing about humility is that I always feel as soon as you start to talk about it, you’ve lost it.  I have, however, hit so many peaks and valleys since my healing journey began struggling with this whole concept of humility. Obviously, the peaks are always when my eyes are fixed on Jesus, and we can all guess what I’m deeply focused on when I fall into utter desolation: MYSELF.  It doesn’t take long once I’m on one of my self-reliance kicks and act out on my need to control anyone and everything around me before I start to suffer. This type of suffering is self-inflicted and sometimes the consequences are quite catastrophic, but they are always moments when I receive yet another learning experience: I absolutely cannot break my daily routine – simple things that keep me in conscious contact with my Savior.  When I’m concentrating on my relationship with my Creator, I make an active surrender of my life, thoughts and actions over to His care every morning (sometimes multiple times throughout the day).  I truly cannot do a thing without Him.

I always find it interesting the definitions that come with an internet search of the word humility – many dictionaries use terms like humiliation, shyness, passivity and I’ve even seen the term “inferiority complex” as a synonym. I don’t think any online search for a dictionary definition of humility can scratch the surface of the meaning and deep experience associated with it. As I entered the ministry and was connected with a Catholic therapist, she explained that humility means knowing about the truth about yourself and that you are who you are in God’s eyes – nothing more, nothing less. If you see the truth of who you really are, then you will surrender to His will knowing He is THE source. I found out that you don’t have to go around talking about how wonderful you are to be arrogant; the flip side of that coin is thinking you are the worst person ever, having extremely low self-esteem and walking around filled with self-hatred.  If I was created in the image and likeness of God, then how could I be garbage? How could I hate God’s creation? “God doesn’t make junk!” Him dying on the cross was enough for all your sins, but mine are unique?

I did not surrender to God’s will or even think about enhancing my interior life for years leading up to my abortion.  I especially didn’t carry out God’s will for the life of my child.  I actually had the audacity to tell God while I was in the waiting room of the clinic what His plan for me going forward will be: I’ll live in constant turmoil and discomfort and I will carry the guilt and shame until I die because of what I’m about to do.  I couldn’t even say the word “abortion” after I chose myself over the life of my baby girl. Even the egotism associated with my reckless behavior…someone like me doesn’t end up unwed and pregnant. I was always the “good girl”. I did what I wanted, when I wanted, and yet was shocked to learn I had conceived a child…it was months before I took a test, then I watched it turn positive within seconds.

I had a nervous breakdown immediately following my abortion, so I had to make these rationalizations that I was coerced by my boyfriend, my baby would have been deformed because of my lifestyle choices, etc. It was only until I came to know the love and mercy of God, was I able to admit the truth about why I did not choose life. It is blunt, heartless and the epitome of selfishness. I had an abortion because I cared too much about what people thought of me and (the big one) I wasn’t ready to give up drinking, using drugs and going out with friends.  There was such freedom in finally admitting that I went through with this heinous act – the very thing I grew up writing any debate paper on the pro-life side – because I didn’t want to be judged by people and wanted to continue living life on my terms.  So, how can I be so utterly shocked that this happened when I was so far removed from God? When I’m left to my own devices, I act out of self will, I don’t ask for help or seek His guidance when things crop up, I adopt the I’ll “handle it myself” attitude – my eyes are taken off Jesus and historically speaking, my life has gone to some very dark places when I lose sight of who I really am.  I forget the truth: I am HUMAN. I am a sinner. I need God just like I need the basic necessities of life…food, water, clothing, sleep and shelter. What beautiful gifts we’ve been given because He paid the ultimate price for our sins. Thank You, Jesus for the sacraments of reconciliation and communion.  When I meditate on the sorrow of Mary and the crucifixion of Jesus, it’s as if my spirit gravitates towards being near Him at the cross, with all my misery.  Today, I’m not flooded by emotions of guilt and self-hatred when I hear “misery”, because I know Jesus’ love.

This is a lifelong practice for me – I didn’t just surrender after my abortion, become part of the ministry and suddenly be a woman that lives in and carries out God’s will every day for the last 12 years.  In moments of humility, I am graced with the understanding in my soul that I am a child of God that will sin, but my ultimate desire as I continue my pilgrimage on this earth, is to surrender to His will understanding that at this point on my healing journey and in interior life,  I have certain things required to carry out on a daily basis that I can’t veer far from. I must stay vigilant and be aware that when the feelings of painful longing or those times where it’s like I have this huge hole in my heart, that Jesus is the ONLY One who will satisfy my every need, my pain will never be cured by things of this world.  Thy will, not mine, be done.

Leave a Reply