(Counseling for Post-Abortion Syndrome)
Facing reality is essential to sanity, reconciliation, healing, and growth. Pretending existing realities are nonexistent can only be harmful.
When we apply this basic principle to counseling those who have committed sexual sins and/or have had an abortion, there are several realities which must be faced if those involved are ever to be freed.
1. SEXUAL BOND — In sexual intercourse, there is a physical bonding of the couple. The members of the one become the members of the other. The two become one flesh (1 Cor 6:15-16). In the marriage covenant, this sexual bonding is a great blessing. Outside of marriage, it is a bondage. The sexual bond is real and physical. It expresses itself not always in sexual matters but in fears and compulsions. The sexual bond outside of marriage is often experienced as an unpredictable tension, like being pulled in different directions at the same time. The cause of their bond can be removed by repenting of fornication, adultery, or homosexual relations. Then those in bondage should ask Jesus to remove the effects of their sin by breaking the sexual bondage. This is impossible by human power. No amount of counseling or therapy can break sexual bonding. But “nothing is impossible with God” (Lk 1:37).
2. PARENTAL BOND — In the case of an abortion, we must face the reality that a human being was created from the moment of conception. The parents of this newly-conceived child must also face the reality that there is a physical bond between them and their child. God will never break this parental bond. It is forever. Even if the parents never see or touch their child, the bond is there. Adoptive parents must respect this physical parental bond. They should ask the Lord to bond them spiritually to their adopted child in such a way as to complement rather than conflict with the biological parents. This parental bond is real, so much so that children who never see their biological parents will usually look for them when they are old enough to sift through what’s going on inside them.
The parental bond is the reason why incest is an even more devastating sin than fornication and adultery. The sexual bond and parental bond are combined and cause catastrophic effects. As the parental bond makes incest worse than adultery, so this bond makes abortion worse than murder. It is one thing to kill a person, but to kill one’s own child is another dimension of evil.
To be freed from the devastation of abortion, the parents should repent, ask God what name to give their child, and ask Him to bring reconciliation between them and their child. After asking the Lord’s forgiveness, they should entrust the child to Jesus and expect to be happily reunited with him or her after this life. (See Pope John Paul II’s encyclical letter, The Gospel of Life, 99 and our pamphlet, Hope and Healing Through Aborted Children.)
Parents who have aborted can face the seemingly overwhelming realities of the child’s existence, the parental bond, and their murder of their child because of the ultimate reality — the salvation and loving forgiveness of Jesus. It’s not enough to face only some of these realities. The parents must face all these realities to be forgiven, healed, and freed.
3. “THE PILL” — All of this is severely complicated by the use of birth control pills and other misnamed “contraceptives” which sometimes abort. The pill most commonly used and Norplant don’t always prevent conception but sometimes implantation. IUD’s and some pills always prevent implantation. This is an abortion, the murder of the child by the parents. The major problem with “contraceptive” abortifacients is the uncertainty about whether there was an abortion. A mother may be the parent of four children, but thinks she only has two. She may be experiencing post-abortion syndrome and not know she has had two abortions.
If you have taken the “pill” or used other abortifacients, repent and ask Jesus how many children you have. He will communicate with you in some way within a short time (like a day to two). If it seems you may have aborted, ask the Lord for forgiveness, reconciliation and healing. This may seem like an impossible situation, but Jesus can forgive any sin, save anyone, and even raise the dead. You will notice major changes in your life — peace, freedom, and a new life in Jesus.
Nihil obstat: Reverend Edward J. Gratsch on September 8, 1996.
Imprimatur: † Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, on September 17, 1996.
The Nihil obstat and Imprimatur are a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free from doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil obstat and Imprimatur agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.
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