Several weeks ago, I posted about my new e-book, Poor Baby, a 10,000-word essay about my sad and deeply wounding experience with abortion.
1. Last week, blogger and friend extraordinaire Elizabeth Scalia, aka The Anchoress, posted a really lovely and thoughtful piece about Poor Baby. It begins:
"You have to be a pretty interesting person to be able to write three short, funny and spiritually wise biographies before you’re terribly old. Heather King is onesuch. She describes herself as “an ex-lawyer, ex-drunk Catholic convert” and upon reading her book Redeemed, I promptly fell in love with her work.
Then I actually began to correspond with Heather, (and corralled her into sharing some great stuff with Patheos) and came to love her person.Barbara Nicolosi has called her a “Catholic Annie LaMott” and I can see that comparison, but I think Heather is even more searingly honest than LaMott. She is simply a very fine writer, and a fierce Christian who has really worked her faith through the wringer of her own damaged places and emerged as something of a mystic with a bit of a mouth. It’s a powerful combination."
Love that Liz! You can read the rest here.
2. Last Wednesday, whoops, Monday, whoops, today, whoops (Fr. Grunow is on the road and hasn't given the final okay yet), as part of their non-legislative look at abortion, my pals at Word on Fire also plan on posting SOON on Poor Baby.
3. Finallly, the current issue of Traces features a piece on the Sisters of Life, the NYC-based order (Sisters at Visitation Mission to Pregnant Women) that to me exemplifies Christ in our midst when it comes to this very difficult and often very polarizing issue.
Author Lisa Galalis notes: "The Sisters of Life surprised New York City 20 years ago when they appeared on the scene of a city not known for nurturing new life, with a desire not just to provide pregnancy services and counseling but to share their very lives with women "in the midst of an unexpected reality."
The article goes on: "These expectant mothers, who are not practicing Catholics, describe their experience of the Sisters [like this]: 'It's so peaceful here--not like where I live,' Teresa says. 'You can relax with them,' Nyala agrees. 'They weren't what I expected. They don't judge you'...
'[O]ur apostolic approach is based upon entering into a relationship with the one God calls us to serve,' Mother Agnes explains. 'The first effort is to come to recognize in the other an icon of the living God, and to experience within myself the gift that the other is to me. Only then can I become for her a mirror in which she can see and identify with the truth of the goodness, strength and beauty within.' She clarifies further: 'When we train our coworkers and Sisters, we say: 'We must do whatever we do in response to the delight that God allows us in the other, because if we do not do that, then the other perceives that whatever we are doing is because we're good, not because they're good--and that's just pride.' "
Three years ago, in NYC for a couple of weeks, I attended Sunday Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral. Before dismissing us, the priest announced that the Sisters of Life had set up a little booth there that day. In the twenty-plus years that I had carried my secret and my shame, it was the first I'd heard of any group that actually addressed the wound of the mother; that treated the woman who'd aborted neither as a pariah, nor as a potential poster child for the pro-life movement. I hung around the fringes for awhile and I can't describe the light these nuns threw off: anything but hokey, anything but contrived, anything but patronizing, anything but with an ulterior motive, anything but weird.
Finally I worked up the courage to approach one of them, a beautiful woman in her late twenties with a solid, welcoming face that seemed to invite in the whole world. "Thank you for the work you do," I said. "I've had three"...and started weeping. "I'm sure there's help for you there," the sister said when I explained that I lived in L.A.
I didn't seek help for many more months. But it was the face of that young nun--healthy, wholesome, sane, compassionate, joyful--I really have to thank here. Love is how you treat those who have nothing to give. I had nothing to give her. And she gave me back my life.
|photo found at the black cordelias: more about the SOL there|
|Sister Maria Kateri (L) and Sister Catherine Marie from Sisters of Life ride their bikes in Toronto, February 2010.photo: Holy Post, from an article by Charles Lewis, April 10, 2011|