Sharing: My personal call on a vital issue

One of the prophetic words spoken at the Life in the Spirit Retreat asked for repentence for two mothers who aborted their unborn babies. Later on, one of my roommates, a mother, shared that she sobbed when the Sister spoke about repentance for abortion. She aborted her unborn baby. Her youngest son became naughty recently and it might be happened because her unborn baby wanted attention from the family through her youngest son.
After that, I heard several stories related to post-abortion experiences. I know abortion implies an automatic excommunication from the Catholic Church. As I live in the United States, I started to think that, even though abortion is legalized, a mother will not abort her unborn baby if she has the conviction that it kills a human life. A woman has a right to decide whether she wants to carry her unborn baby or not.
During our silent retreat with the St. Joseph Sisters in La Grange Park, IL, last year, I wished to listen to the Holy Spirit, and I planned to write a reflection about the second week of Advent for the Indonesian Catholic community in Chicago. I also wanted to continue reading Open Mind, Open Heart by Thomas Merton.

After our opening prayer of the retreat, I saw a book, Ending Abortion by Fr. Frank Pavone. The book was in a closed position. I decided to read it on the second and third days, so I didn’t finish the reflection. I believe that reading the Pavone book was the inspiration from the Holy Spirit. I checked several materials on the Internet, including a video of “Silent Scream” on youtube.
I started to read several pro-life materials from the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops for Respect for Life Sunday in 2008. I also decided to be a helpline volunteer at Aid for Women, a pregnancy resource center in Chicago.
I observed for one month, attended a one-day training, and had several video trainings. The center provides free pregnancy tests and information on pregnancy and alternatives to abortion, including adoption. The helpline also gives information on sexually transmitted diseases, RU486 (the morning-after pill), and assistance in obtaining pre-natal care, natural family planning, layettes, diapers and infant clothing, and more.
Later on, I read more pro-life material, including Why Pro-Life? by Randy Alcorn. I also asked for a booklet called, “Sharing the Pro-Life Message,” from the Pro-Life Action League, and I have been sharing about this free booklet with my friends.
So what is the pro-life message? At its most basic level, the pro-life message is: “an unborn child is a human person whose life has value and deserves to be protected by our society” (Sharing the Pro-Life Message, p 2). They also want to share “how abortion harms women–and men” (Sharing the Pro-Life Message, p 2).
According to Bishop Terry Steib, SVD, “if we say that we believe in life, then we must be opposed to abortion, capital punishment, assisted suicide, economic injustice, racism, euthanasia and unjust wars; and we must embrace the universe in which we live and which is the source of life to so much of what is important to us.”
According to the Guttmacher Institute, there were 1.21 million abortions performed in the United States in 2005, which means 3,315 abortions per day (Sharing the Pro-Life Message, p 18). As I shared my transformation with an Indonesian friend, I just realized that I am called to be a pro-lifer without any affiliation with a political party. I just do it as my personal call.
I thank President Barack Obama as his view on abortion brings light to my own value about abortion. When I pray the rosary, I pray one decade for the ending of abortion and the death penalty. I don’t know when it will happen.
I also join the Mother of Light Intercessory Prayer at Holy Rosary Church in Hawthorne, NY, as part of my commitment to be a pro-lifer.

– Sr. Anastasia B. Lindawati, M.M.

Re-posting from Maryknoll Sisters Formation House Blog: