The Sixth Street Bridge

The Sixth Street Bridge
At the tender age of 17, I walked across this bridge, alone, into Downtown Pittsburgh, with $300 in my pocket that my mother had given me to get an abortion. I went into the Fulton Building (in the picture) and did what I was told to do. I didn't have a choice - if I did, I wouldn't have chosen abortion.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Thank you for His Grace and for Grace Anne

The Catechism of the Catholic Church 1996 says: Our justification comes from the Grace of God. Grace is favor, the free and undeserved help that God gives us to respond to his call to become children of God, adoptive sons, partakers of the divine nature and of eternal life.

Well, sign me up!

I've always loved the name Grace and it was always in the top 3 on the baby name list with each child that we've had.  But, for some reason (which I now know) it always got bumped.  For a while it was to be the middle name of our youngest, but then it got replaced (for the same reason).  When I started my Project Rachel counseling, my counselor asked me to think about a name for my lost daughter if I didn't have one already.  But, I did have one already...Grace Anne.  I have always known from the very moment that I lost her that she was a "she."  But, her name was revealed to me later in life and I carried it around deep in my heart for a long time before I uttered it aloud.  Oh and what a name - with so much meaning.
Angel of Grace

Along my journey, I've learned so much and a lot of it has been about "grace" itself and "Grace" herself.  I've learned that there is actual grace, sanctifying grace, habitual grace...I'm sure there are many more examples.  But the ones that stick with me are actual grace (movement by God on us) and habitual (the indwelling of God's own Holiness and Divine Nature in our souls).  I've also learned that in order to be with God, we need both kinds of Grace - we need His grace to move us or cause us to act and we need Him to dwell within us at the same time.  I like to think that I need a 3rd kind of Grace, my Grace who dwells within me as well both physically and spiritually and who causes me to act also - perhaps nudging me a bit more when I'm not paying close enough attention.

I beat myself up sometimes when I think I haven't paid enough attention to her or prayed about her enough or thought about her, but she's there and because of where she is - she doesn't hold any of my human weaknesses against me.  I think she just has unabashed, all consuming love for me and for my family here on earth.  I think she watches over all of us and has a special place in her heart for my Mom - who may need her more than I do. 

With the March for Life on Monday, Grace Anne and His Grace are at the forefront of my mind.  I feel her calming me down and bolstering me at the same time.  I feel His Spirit upon me throughout the day and I'm getting better at calling upon them both in those times when I start to feel the waters of doubt and despair sloshing around my ankles.

So for today, and for Monday in case I forget, I want to thank Him for pouring down his sanctifying grace on my unworthy soul with every absolution I've received and every time I've received Him in the Eucharist.  Thank you to all of the people who have held my hand, held me up, and my touched my heart along the way - you know who you are. 

Thank you to my Grace Anne for being with me, when I acknowledge you and when I forget, for every tear I've shed, every rosary I've prayed and for every reparative and redemptive step I've taken up to this point and for all the steps I'll take on Monday with you.

I remain eternally and completely grateful for my rise from the very pit of despair where thoughts of suicide were commonplace to where I am today, still wounded, but healing and aware of His all-encompassing and unabashed love for me and for being reminded of my strength and courage.  I am grateful for the Infinite Grace that has touched my life and guided me on this journey helping me to find where each piece fits in the Child of God I am today and for who I will be on Monday as a silent, prayerful, redemptive witness to what abortion really does to a woman who has one.


  1. Such a beautiful entry. I'm so glad that I found your blog. Praying for you, and for the walk you will make on Monday.

  2. I just found your blog today and have made it a "Must Read." I will also post links to your posts when possible May God be with you on your journey! Thank you for your Witness!