I used to pray the phone would ring. This was back in the day when phones rang — like bells, not like Taylor Swift songs. But I would have settled for either. Heck, I would have probably even been OK with Beyoncé.
A phone call would have meant a priceless gift. That’s how my babies came to me. Not by way of birth canal, but by way of telephone wire. Yes, telephones had wires way back then, twelve years ago.
For me, the wait was getting too long after our third baby. I wanted another baby. I mentioned that to God from time to time.
One day it dawned on me why the phone wasn’t ringing. Women and girls with unplanned pregnancies walk through the wrong door. They walk in the door of the abortion clinic, not the adoption agency. And that’s why there is a long list of families waiting for the phone call from the adoption social worker. Once I figured this out, I knew my sweet, occasional, often milkwarm prayers weren’t going to cut it. I came to understand that there is a battle waging that we cannot see. Demonic forces at work, trying to destroy life. All the better if they can accomplish it in the womb, before someone ever has the chance to make his or her mark on the world. And torment and snatch souls of the already born in the process. How shrewd. How cunning. The power they wield over our world – untold power to exact unknown consequences. We really don’t know what would have happened if this particular person or that one had not been aborted. How would his or her family have changed? How would the world have changed? What contributions would have been made to humanity? I venture to say it would have been weighty or the demons would not have marked a target the instant egg met sperm.
So this is what I began to realize as the phone continued its silence. And then it hit me. When Jesus’ disciples asked him why they had been unsuccessful at curing a possessed boy, he told them that kind of demon can only be driven out by prayer and fasting. So I began true prayer, and I started fasting from sugar. And that’s when our beautiful baby John came into the world and into ours. Come to find out, his birth mother had sought an abortion, but the circumstances never lined up “right.” That’s a big long story for another time, but suffice it to say, God allowed me to see the direct correlation between our prayers and the protection of unborn life. Could it really be that my prayer and fasting drove out the demon bent on destroying a human being who would become my son? As unfathomable as it sounds, the answer just might be yes.
That’s why I find it so important to publish the manuscript that showed up in my mailbox twelve years later. The Life Rosary: Powerful Prayers to End Abortion and Heal Hearts was written by Mary Sambo, a remarkable woman who had an abortion when she was sixteen. It nearly destroyed her, right along with her baby. Until she found Christ. Or maybe, I should say, she finally allowed Him to find her. She tells her story best, so I will reprint here the introduction to her book, which is available through Caritas Press.
From Mary Sambo’s The Life Rosary: Powerful Prayers to End Abortion and Heal Hearts:
I am one of the millions of women who have had an abortion. In 1971, I was sixteen years old and pregnant, two years before the historic Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade which legalized a woman’s right to have an abortion. Without confiding in my parents, I flew from Michigan to New York City. New York was one of only two states inside the continent where abortion was legal upon request.1 I lied about my identity and my age. I allowed a physician to end my child’s life through a method called “vacuum aspiration.” It was an excruciatingly painful procedure for me. It must have been torture for my unborn child. Moments later, I was lying in a bed in a room filled with dozens of other women who had just made the same decision.
Having an abortion is the biggest regret of my life. It’s a decision I can never undo. It has rippled with negative effects in my life for years. I quickly learned it’s not so easy to just eliminate a problem. Abortion actually brings on a host of new problems. I have dealt with the grief and guilt of the loss of my child for years. I went through decades of depression, suicide attempts, anger, sadness, anxiety, and promiscuity. I had two miscarriages in the two years following my abortion.
But I am one of the fortunate ones. I have been able to stop this destructive cycle by asking God to forgive me. And I have been able to ask my child for forgiveness. I believe she is in heaven interceding for me daily.
Pope John Paul II, in “The Gospel of Life,” reaches out lovingly and compassionately to women who have had an abortion. While condemning abortion as “an unspeakable crime,” he acknowledges that, “the decision to have an abortion is often tragic and painful for the mother.” But there is hope.
“I would 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. With the friendly and expert help and advice of other people, and as a result of your own painful experience, you can become the most eloquent defenders of everyone’s right to life.” 2
The purpose of this intercessory rosary devotional book is to pray for people who have had an abortion and are still suffering from its deep wounds. My prayer is that they will seek repentance, and find healing and peace through God. The book is also to pray for men and women today who are considering ending the life of their unborn child. My hope is that the petitions in this book before each Hail Mary of the Rosary will change their minds.
This book is meant to empower pro-life supporters in their battle to protect life and pray for those affected by abortion. There is so much we can do as God’s soldiers. There is also a specific role where each one of us fits in and is called to act.
In Champions of the Rosary: The History and Heroes of a Spiritual Weapon, author Fr. Donald H. Calloway writes:
“The Rosary will make you an armed soldier, a sword-wielding knight on the battlefield of life.”
So I pray that you arm yourself with the power of the Rosary and use this book as your sword in the battle.
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Copyright 2017 Sherry Boas