Pro Life Themes on TV: Journeyman

Soccer Dad and I watched the first episode of “Journeyman” on NBC last Fall, then promptly set up a DVR schedule to include it. Then we didn’t have time to watch it until the writer’s strike left us without our “never miss” shows (The Office and Heros, mostly). Then, when his travel schedule lightened up a little, we caught up with House and CSI, figuring that we’d at least watch shows that we had on the schedule last year. After that, I said, “You know what? Journeyman looked neat. Let’s start in on that.

Two-a-days are the usual if we can get the girls into bed. And we’ve only got two episodes left in the DVR! But what a fascinating show!

Basically, this guy (Dan) finds himself suddenly going back and forth through time for no apparent reason. He will wake up to find himself in the past, and he’ll struggle to learn when he is (it’s always San Francisco, his hometown) and what his “mission” is. He spends the show helping someone from the past, which slightly tweaks his present time to make it better.

In episode after episode, Dan tracks a single person and helps him through a struggle, usually saving a person’s life in some way, whether it is literally preventing his death or by helping them turn his life around for the better.

And I’ve come to a realization. It reminds me strongly of It’s a Wonderful Life. Each person he tracks seems insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but what Dan does for each person makes the world a better place. No one else notices anything different in 2007-08, but he knows. Everyone else would have said that they didn’t notice a difference.

I remember when I was pregnant with Big Girl, and I discovered online chat rooms. I was up at night, unable to sleep, and I’d go to the abortion debate rooms. Again and again, I was told by pro-abortion women that no one knows any different when they abort. Who cares? How can we miss something (never someone) that we never experienced?

I couldn’t put my finger on it. It’s really too hard to put into words. But I think that Journeyman makes the case, week after week, in small and subtle ways.

We might not see the difference when 3,000 children die in the womb today here in America, but there is a difference. Our world is much poorer for it.

And who knows what amazing people those children would have grown up to be? What would they have taught us? What would we have seen? What great things might they have done?

What if one of those children was destined to be my son-in-law? Or my son, through adoption?

One life makes a difference. Every life does. And that’s why we pray and work to help end abortion.

**************************

If you are suffering because of a past abortion, you are not alone. There is help available in many places. The Church does not shun women like you. Below is a sampling of various resources:

What is Rachel’s Vineyard?

Rachel’s Vineyard weekends for healing after abortion are offered throughout the year in locations across the United States and Canada, with additional sites in Portugal, Australia and New Zealand. We also offer a 13-week support group model for Rachel’s Vineyard. Rachel’s Vineyard is a ministry of Priests for Life

The program is an opportunity to examine your abortion experience, identify the ways that the loss has impacted you in the past and present, and helps to acknowledge any unresolved feelings that many individuals struggle with after abortion. Because of the emotional numbness and secrecy that often surrounds an abortion experience, conflicting emotions both during and after the event may remain unresolved. These buried feelings can surface later and may be symptoms of post abortion trauma.

Married couples, mothers, fathers, grandparents and siblings of aborted children, as well as persons who have been involved in the abortion industry have come to Rachel’s Vineyard in search of peace and inner healing. The weekend is a lot of work but yields a fruitful harvest for all who are willing to labor there. To learn more, please read about our weekend retreats. Also, please see comments from people who have attended the weekends, as well as our explanation of the name “Rachel’s Vineyard.”

Stepping out “Go, pick up the pieces lest they be lost.” (Jn 6:12) With these words, John Cardinal O’Connor directed the Sisters of Life to a ministry of reverence for women and men who suffer following the tragedy of abortion. Since 1996, we have, with the help of Theresa Bonopartis, heeded that call through Entering Canaan: A Sacramental Journey to an Inheritance of Mercy for those Suffering Abortion. Post-traumatic suffering is the untold story of abortion. There are literally millions of women and men who, too often silently and alone, suffer some of the most serious psychological and spiritual consequences of contemporary society’s disregard for the sanctity of human life and the sacredness of human sexuality. Taking its name from the Exodus experience of the Jewish people from slavery and debasement into the Promised Land, Entering Canaan accompanies those who have suffered abortion on a Sacramental journey into the true Promised Land of the Heart of Jesus. Fundamental to this mission is the belief that each person, no matter what they have done or how they feel, is to be cherished and loved as a unique reflection of God’s love. Those who join this caravan of faith – hundreds thus far – find hope and confidence in the fact that regardless of how long their healing takes, regardless of the battles fought, won or lost, they have a community of people to whom they can turn in time of need, who will be there for them unconditionally, to help them on the way to true healing with patience and love.
After Abortion…

There is healing for you!

If you are hurting from an abortion, you have a home here. Priests for Life embraces with compassion and forgiveness those who have had abortions. We will lead you to the healing that comes from the Lord, and the care of the Christian Community. We are ready to talk with you and listen to you.

Priests for Life works with ministries worldwide that offer this healing.

The Priests for Life page linked above then goes on to mention several ministries, both Catholic and otherwise, that offer help to men and women who are post-abortive.

Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life), #99

I would now like to say a special word to women who have had an abortion. The Church is aware of the many factors which may have influenced your decision, and she does not doubt that in many cases it was a painful and even shattering decision. The wound in your heart may not yet have healed. Certainly what happened was and remains terribly wrong. But do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope. Try rather to understand what happened and face it honestly. If you have not already done so, give yourselves over with humility and trust to repentance. The Father of mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness and his peace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. You will come to understand that nothing is definitively lost and you will also be able to ask forgiveness from your child, who is now living in the Lord. With the friendly and expert help and advice of other people, and as a result of your own painful experience, you can be among the most eloquent defenders of everyone’s right to life. Through your commitment to life, whether by accepting the birth of other children or by welcoming and caring for those most in need of someone to be close to them, you will become promoters of a new way of looking at human life.

(Full text of Evangelium Vitae can be found here.)

Let no one say that the Church shuns women who have had abortions. It is simply not true. The Church, following the example of Christ, offers forgiveness and healing to all sinners. Because every one of us is a sinner.

If you are suffering after an abortion and need someone to talk to, please go to one of the sites I mentioned above, or call 1-877-HOPE-4-ME or 1-800-395-HELP (Rachel’s Vineyard) or 1-800-5-WE-CARE (National Office of Post-Abortion Reconciliation and Healing). Also, if you’d rather not have to talk to a live person on the phone, you can go here and get help via AOL Chat.

Also, if you are considering abortion, you can go to that same site and chat with someone who wants to help. You are not alone, and your local crisis pregnancy center can do much to help you. For example, there is Good Counsel Homes, established by Father Benedict Groeschel. Their stated mission is:

Good Counsel is a private Catholic agency whose primary mission is to help homeless pregnant women by providing a loving family environment in a safe and secure shelter. Begun in 1985 by Fr. Benedict Groeschel and Chris Bell, both leaders in the pro-life movement, Good Counsel has grown to five homes in the New York greater metropolitan area.


Working closely with the Sisters of Life through our Lumina outreach we have developed an outstanding program of support and healing for those suffering from abortion related problems.

They have a 24/7 hotline for young women in trouble. Call them at 800-723-8331 if you need help.

And don’t let anyone think that it’s just about handing out diapers and maternity clothes. This is what Good Counsel Homes does:

Three key programs:

  • Life Skills Program
    This in-house program prepares residents for independent living by covering topics such as Parenting, Spirituality, Health and AIDS Education, Career Development and Financial Management.
  • Exodus
    Through this program, mothers participate in certain programs even after leaving a Good Counsel home so that they still receive transitional support.
  • Technology
    The Internet is an essential tool in today’s world. Good Counsel mothers are taught how to utilize our computer labs and the internet to advance their educational goals, search for employment, post their resumes online and much more.
Remember that you are NOT alone. There is help for you and your child.

You don’t have to make a choice between you and your baby.

And, if you are trying to heal after an abortion, know that we love you and are praying for you.

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