So, here we are, years later. I was honestly hoping that this message would've reached more people by now. But I've finally come to realize that it's just a really, really difficult topic for people to talk about, write about and publish. Healing from clergy, religious and ministerial sexual abuse within the Catholic Church is down right painful.
My spin on this all has been a bit different than other writers or websites on the topic. Although I am angry and hurt, and still searching for many answers, I have chosen to continue practicing my Catholic faith, and to follow the Church's teachings. That's what this website is for. It's not for Church-bashing, authority-smashing delight. Somewhere in the haze of spiritual dawn and dusk, in misery and ecstasy, I've found my way.
No one said it would be easy to heal from the wounds of sexual abuse, or to remain Catholic, after all I've been through. I've wanted to run away from God and the Church half of the time, trust me. But something miraculous has occurred on my journey, and this is what I'd like to share with you. I've found healing that has not left me searching for love in all the wrong places. My healing has not left me gaping and hurting, struggling each day to discover my identity. In fact, I have discovered who I am, and I've found deep, lasting peace, despite the storms that life still rages. From a very quite and restful place I have written these things, from the very heart of the Church.
I was a Carmelite nun for three years, and now I'm a wife and a mother of four. I've experienced both aspects of battling and loving God, as a cloistered religious, and as a married woman. I wrote the Spiritual Journey coming from these two different angles, so I promise it's truly unique.
I'll let the few individuals who did write back to me regarding The Spiritual Journey, do the rest of the introductions:
"Carrie... I think you have done a fine job of showing how someone can deal with the pain of sexual abuse and be strengthened and healed by their faith in Jesus and the Catholic Church. You have used your three years as a cloistered Carmelite and your own happy marriage to write something that will be helpful to other people that have been abused. God's blessings on this project!" (A letter from Archbishop Michael J. Sheehan, Archdiocese of Santa Fe, February 11, 2011).
"Her whole journey is ultimately towards forgiveness (but not in an easy sappy, and therefore somehow wrong way), and therefore goes to the wound at the heart of the Church, in particular to the sexual and emotional abuse of children by priests. I am a firm believer that the world will be saved by beauty, and that stories are a form of beauty, and since few people are willing or able to tell this particular story I rejoice to pass (her website) on...Carrie hopes to make her story into a book one day and I think some publisher would be very lucky to have it"
(Author and speaker, Heather King, taken from her blogsite: shirtofflame.blogspot.com. You can read the entire blog here: http://shirtofflame.blogspot.de/2012/05/healed-by-truth-sexual-abuse-victim.html).
"Every time I reread those words of Carrie's, I am newly awed by how deeply she, in writing them, was thinking with the Church"
(Dawn Eden, Author of My Peace I Give You, Healing Sexual Wounds With The Help Of The Saints, on her blog about my website: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/feastofeden/2012/09/entering-into-the-memories-of-god/).
And because I love you all so much, I even painted a picture for you, that shows the movement of the heart during this difficult journey of healing:
If you'd like to contact me, you can send me an email at:
PRAYER TO BEGIN THE SPIRITUAL JOURNEY OF HEALING
O God of love, I turn to you now and ask you to be with me and to give me courage to embark on the spiritual journey of healing. I don’t want to do this alone. I believe that you are here with me now. You offer me your help, and it is up to me to accept it. Sometimes I feel my heart is too closed to let you in, but even if it is open only a little I trust that you will make of it a perfect opportunity for your grace and your healing power to work in my life. I will give you what I can, and I trust that you will do the rest. Amen.
“Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in them the fire of your love…
Send forth your spirit, and they shall be created, and you shall renew the face of the earth.
Oh, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit did instruct the hearts of your faithful. Grant that by the same Holy Spirit, we may be truly wise and ever rejoice in his consolations, through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.”