Thursday, February 03, 2005

Where Have All the Children Gone?

(with apologies to Pete Seger for the title)

I found something that outraged me more than photos of aborted children. They, at least, have a pro-life purpose.

In brief, the questioner accuses us of facillitating abortion with the idea that aborted children go to heaven, and denies that they see the face of God. The first part of the poster’s question dealt with Limbo. If you want to know all about Limbo, then visit the reference Judie Brown provided at I am not going to debate its existence. I have never been to the after life, so I don’t think I can speak with any authority. I did note, though, that the questioner neglected to say that Limbo is considered a temporary state, and a happy one at that. Why would he omit that information?

Because he wanted to make this point:

“Some misinformed people are teaching that each abortion sends a child to heaven. Nothing could be further from the truth. This false claim may comfort women that have had an abortion but it actually gives license to this abomination.”

Giving license to abortion by saying the children are in heaven? This is his reasoning:

“ If someone says aborted babies are in heaven ask them two questions

1) If abortion sends a child to heaven shouldn’t we abort all children since it is a one way ticket to heaven?

2) Don’t you think Satan would do all in his power to ban abortion if it sent one soul to heaven?”

This is the kind of useless bunk that is designed only to elicit despair. Yes, despair – and despair is Satan’s joy. Those who despair of forgiveness and heaven are like death-row inmates. We have nothing to lose or gain, so nothing we do matters any more. There is no Godly or life-oriented purpose in leading people to despair, especially we sinners in most need of His mercy.

Of course, I composed a response to the questioner which Judie was kind enough to post:

But why browse? Here was my response:

Dear Judie,

A poster recently asked:

"If someone says aborted babies are in heaven ask them two questions 1)If abortion sends a child to heaven shouldn’t we abort all children since it is a one way ticket to heaven? 2) Don’t you think Satan would do all in his power to ban abortion if it sent one soul to heaven?"

May I answer? Since I had an abortion when I was sixteen, and have always regretted that decision, I felt intolerable pain at the questioner’s decent logic and the reminder of Limbo. I do not want heaven for myself if I have kept another soul from reaching it, particularly my own child's.

And that is where I saw the first flaw in the argument. It assumes that our actions dictate the disposition of other souls. As far as I understand it, our choices affect our own destinations, but it is presumptuous to think we can do anything to directly send anyone either to heaven or hell.

Secondly, I went to Confession a few months after the abortion. I had read of Limbo, since this was 1979, when the idea was still in the Catechism. I asked my Confessor, a good Franciscan priest, where my child was. I told him I could not understand how God could punish the innocent for something I did. He never had the opportunity to choose for himself. My dear Father Clare told me, and I will never forget this because I would die without the knowledge, that God is better than I am. He cannot be more cruel than I can be, and if I think Limbo is cruel, then I either don’t understand Limbo or I am short-changing God.

My child is in God’s hands, whatever his state, and faith requires me to trust God’s judgment – HIS judgment. I have hope because I know that God does not punish the innocent – people do. I pray my child will see the Lord. I try to make reparations on his behalf and my own.

For the second question: abortion condemns at least two people, the parents. And there are other accomplices: the abortionist, the nurse, the receptionist, the family members who participate, lawmakers who sanction it, on and on. Satan gains so many more souls than he loses if these children are accepted into God’s arms in heaven.

When I first read this post, I nearly fell back into a despair I had forgotten a long time ago. The questioner quotes St. Thomas Aquinas, one of the greatest minds the world has known, and perverts his wisdom for his own purposes. I was almost fooled.

In the movement that professes to do God’s greatest work, saving the lives of the weakest and most innocent among us, where do these despair-makers come from? Has the Master of Despair himself infiltrated even that movement that seeks to do God’s work? Well, this world is his playground, so why not (John 8:44)? He has dared to assail the Catholic Church from within, even knowing the gates of hell cannot prevail against it. Wreaking havoc among those who try to be the most faithful is one of his favorite pastimes.

The otherwise merciful pro-life leader cannot remember mercy when she resents the women from Silent No More, asking if we want applause. This questioner, who professes to be a Catholic Christian, says the promise of heaven for aborted children, which is actually God’s mercy, is a license for abortion. It is a perversion of truth, another of Satan’s favorite tricks. He is the king of liars, and there is no more convincing lie than a perverted version of the truth.

We try to teach, because we believe and it is truth, that the child in the womb is a sentient being. He has a soul equal to our own. The body is not eternal in this version of the world. The soul, however, lives in and for eternity whether in heaven, or hell, or Limbo, or Purgatory – and consequently does not age as we understand it. Eternity is the absence of change, and time is the essence of change. When the child’s soul is called by God, no matter what the cause of his death, to suggest he is incapable of answering, or of yearning for God while in the womb, is to deny his humanity, indeed denies that the child has a soul equal to our own. It is hardly a pro-life philosophy.

Post-abortive women of faith are comforted by knowing – not thinking, but knowing – that God loves their children and is taking care of them.

As it is written in Psalm 27:10: “For my father and mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me up.”

In Matthew 18:10, the Lord says, “See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven.”

Matthew 19:13-14 goes on, “Then the children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on the people; but Jesus said, ‘Let the children come to me and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.’”

Luke 13:30: “And behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”


At 5:22 PM, Blogger Emily said...

Terrific response.

At 5:40 PM, Blogger GrannyGrump said...

Wow! Powerful stuff!

At 6:35 PM, Blogger Silent Rain Drops said...

Thank you both. I had a lot of help on this one...

At 9:05 AM, Blogger TB said...

Looks like she also has forgotten the words of PJPII in the Gospel of Life " Your Children are now living in the Lord".

Secondly, although abortion may send the unborn to heaven, there is no doubt that the souls of countless others are in jeopardy...parents, others who participate, those who force etc etc. unless they learn of God's mercy and return to Him. Of course, the despair inflicted could also be helping Satan.There is more than one way to take a life from God.

Reminds me of the prayer of the Pharisee and the tax collector...personally I would rather be at the back of the church beating my breast than think I am perfect. I am a sinner, and will always be...thank God for His mercy!

At 9:44 AM, Blogger Naaman said...

My child is in God’s hands, whatever his state, and faith requires me to trust God’s judgment – HIS judgment. I have hope because I know that God does not punish the innocent – people do.That's ultimately the point. God is the Just Judge. We can be assured that He will judge justly, and we will be satisfied by His judgements.

Scripture is not totally silent on this subject, even if doesn't spell out the answer for us:
He [David] said, "While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, 'Who knows, the LORD may be gracious to me, that the child may live.' But now he has died; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me."(2nd Samuel 12:22-23)

At 1:23 PM, Blogger Annie said...

I took on the Catholic answer to this issue in this column, after discussing it with 3 good Catholic priest friends of mine. It says what I believe.

Excellent post, Julie. I'll go over and comment there if I can.

At 2:04 PM, Blogger Silent Rain Drops said...

Annie, you made me cry. Thank you for your article. {{{Annie}}}


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