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May 14, 1993     The Message
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1993 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 13 "ect Rachel ram helps women through healing after abortion ANN HUGHES Message staff writer a Woman begins the healing process Undergoing an abortion, Wants to know three Where her baby is, her baby, and that is safe. wants to know if because she has corn- an unforgivable sin. wants to know if church will ac- return. lair Raum, a pastor Md. was in to partici- work- Pest-abortion recon- sponsored arities. The was attended by Counselors in the he workshop, he that counselors with women who abortions are suffer from Syndrome. es as early as one r the abortion and later, they begin epression and ef and guilt. also have eating problems, diffi- "entrating, night- p problems, and feelings and anger. recognize that are connected experience, begin the healing Lag the Project Lop, Father e stages that .need to travel the post-abortive questions will be the unfor- In, what hope is me?' and 'How that is so Pro-life want me ng process, e are no sins, and that, does want her Understand that not a hotel for )ital for sin- must be ready back into the she must do She must be way to tell the sex of her hProbably will er to name her help her find to remember Raum said is planning to build a Tomb for Pre-born Children, "a place where they can go to remember unborn children." She should be encouraged to write a letter to her unborn child. "During this experi- ence, it becomes more per- sonal. This process helps her tell her story. The fetal tissue becomes boy fetal tissue and then it becomes Michael. Then Michael becomes some- one to hold on to. Then she can say, 'Michael, I'm here to talk to you.' "For her to be healed of the abortion, the child has to re- turn to her and say, 'You are my mother.' That's the heal- ing experience. The child, who will bother her and ha- rass her until he's finally heard, brings the healing -- along with the Lord." For the inner healing to begin, Father Raum says the woman must "go back through the story and see where God was in all that. What was the spiritual di- mension that was taking place at the time. "I work through prayer. We place ourselves in the context of prayer. In that context, I ask her to tell me what was the most painful moment. I ask her to describe it, to pic- ture it." One woman remembered telling her mother she was going into the hospital the next day for a D and C proce- dure. She neglected to men- tion that she was pregnant at the time. "It was the first time she had ever lied to her mother. I asked her to picture that again, so we pictured her at the kitchen table drinking coffee. I told her to listen to herself as she told her mother. Then she got this sur- prised look on her face. She said, 'when I looked up, across the table was my mother, but it wasn't my birth mother. It was Mary and she knew the truth. And she loved me.'" Then Father Raum asked the woman to picture the abortion the next day. She watched as a woman dressed in a blue nurse's uniform took the dead body of her baby out of the room. Then the nurse, who was Mary, came back in, with the baby and her son Jesus. "The Lord had healed the child and he gave her back her child. After she held her baby for awhile, we prayed. Then the Lord took the baby back and Jesus said, 'I'm going to keep your child until you are ready to be reunited with him again.'" Father Raum talked of a second woman he counseled who pictured a young girl Rachel mourns her children; she refuses to be consoled because her children are no more. Thus says the Lord: Cease your cries of mourning. Wipe the tears from your eyes. The sorrow you have shown shall have its reward. There is hope for your future. Jeremiah 31:15-17 rocking two babies. "I said, 'What else do you see?' "She answered, 'Another empty rocker.' "I said, 'Why don't you sit in the rocker.' After the young girl handed her one of the babies, the two began rocking the babies to- gether. When young woman started to cry, Father Raum asked, 'What do your tears mean?' "She said, 'The young woman is Mary and the baby she is rocking is Jesus and the baby I'm rocking is my Michael.' "The Lord gave her back her child in this process." As they go through their healing process, women need to know where their baby is, that their baby is safe, and who has their baby. "Often it is Jesus, often it is Mary, and sometimes a dead relative, a grandparent, has the baby." Father Raum said the heal- ing process of post-abortive women is similar to the pro- cess that parents go through when a child dies. He talked of a woman in his parish who lost three children in a house fire. Two-and-a-half weeks after the funeral, she came to him and asked, "Father, why does God allow these things to happen?" "I asked her, 'Marlene, what would you like to ask God for?' "She said, 'I want to ask God for my children back.' "I said, 'Why don't you go ahead and ask.'" Two weeks later, she came back to Father Raum and said, "I asked God for my children back and Jesus said to me in my prayers that they are with him. He said 'It is the desire of my heart that your children come back with you. I asked your children and they said they didn't want to leave me.'" The mother told Father Raum "I can live with that be- cause I know where they are and who they are with and I know they are ok." He also worked with a woman named Rita whose daughter died at birth. Her mother-in-law took the body away and refused to tell Rita where her baby was buried. "It was a lost child. When we prayed, what we saw in our prayers, we were standing at the foot of the cross. "Standing next to Rita was Mary. Joseph of Arimethea came along and took the body of Jesus off the cross and laid him in Mary's arms -- the Pieta. Then he brought the body of Rita's baby to Rita and the two mothers wept for their lost children. "Then Joseph carried the bodies of the two children to the tomb. He took Jesus and laid him out in the tomb and then he took Rita's baby and laid her on Jesus' chest and put Jesus arm over her. Then they closed the tomb and withdrew. "Rita said, 'She's with the Lord. That's all I need to know.'" Father Raum said healing for the women he counsels begins when they "relive what happened, but now they see where God was in the events that took place. Now they know everything is ok." Their final stage begins with the sacrament of recon- ciliation. "This process brings DEWIG BROS. PACKING CO. FRESH MEAT BEEF AND PORK HAUBSTADT, INDIANA her to the healing so she can experience forgiveness and then she knows she is for- given. She has to go through the healing so she knows she cannot commit a sin that God will not forgive." Father Raum said he makes this celebration of reconcilia- tion "a big deal. I lock the church and give orders that no one is to come in. We set two chairs in the sanctuary before the tabernacle and we spend a good hour together. "We read scriptures to- gether, we sing songs to- gether, and we pray together; I lay hands on her and pray for her, specifically for things that I know are in her life. "Then I give her absolution and lift the excommunica- tion. Then we sing some more. If I have roses, I give her one before she leaves. Now she knows she's for- given." Father Raum encouraged the Project Rachel workshop participants to remember "it is the Lord who will restore life to her, not us. You will see God breathing life back into her. Her resurrection will affect everybody. Everybody is going to change when she changes." Project Rachel is sponsored by the Catholic Diocese of Evansville through Catholic Charities. All counseling is private and confidential. For additional information, call 423-I445. I II I MILLER & MILLER ",4 family name you can trust" 424-9274 IIII I II I COMPLETE INSURANCE sERvICE Autol Homel Fire & Lifel Your Personal Service Agent James L. Will Ins. Agency Inc. 1925 W. Franklin Street 425-3187 I I II Jll II I I Medical Arts Pharmacy 3700 Bellemeade Avenue Phone 4T/.1532 Donald Gutzweiler City-Wido Delivery I III Duncan's Riverside Pharmacy Mara'u - "We Deiaa Comer Riverside and Governor Evansville 1 III III I I PAUL'S PHARMACY Paul Mayer, Owner 2107 W. Franklin St. 425-4364 i Plaza Pharmacy Newburgh Plaza Ken and Rebecca Hacker 853-7141 $tratman's Pharmacy i I City-Wide Delivery  413 Locust Slrf:t Hwy, 62 and N.  Arm. John and Judy Stratman LARRY SO4OLTNBS, Prop. 425-5293 4254422