"... when a soul sees and realizes the gravity of its sins, when the whole abyss of the misery into which it is immersed itself is displayed before its eyes, let it not despair, but with a trust let it throw itself into the arms of My mercy, as a child into the arms of its beloved mother. These souls have a right of priority to My compassionate Heart, they have first access to My mercy. Tell them that no soul that has called upon My mercy has been disappointed or brought to shame. I delight particularly in a soul which has placed its trust in My goodness." (1541) Divine Mercy In My Soul
Some resources for post abortion healing, like Exhale, pride themselves on supposedly listening. They say they do not fill the people who come in with guilt and shame the way other places do. I always wondered, how can they reconcile the feelings the woman is having when they step into the door?
Most likely, they are in grave pain, filled with sorrow, guilt, and shame. They are mourning the loss of their baby and already know what they did was wrong, even if they felt like they had to do it.
Listening, but not legitimizing these feelings is not helpful. All it does is continue the denial that has been eating at them. It is closing the door to what they know is true.
They need to know that in spite of what they did, there is still hope, and they are still loved and accepted. No outside source has made them feel that way. They are already feeling that way when they come in. That is why they seek out help. They need the unconditional love and understanding of God.
Instead of denying what they are feeling, as society does, we need to acknowledge their feelings and help them move past them through compassion and understanding. This does not mean making the woman feel guilty or judging her, but it also does not mean making abortion seem like it is nothing to feel badly about. She has lost her child. She needs to look at the situation honestly, to try to understand, so that she can forgive herself. How can she forgive herself and move on if she is not allowed to have her feelings legitimized?
As we move through the Lenten season, let us go to where true healing is, in the mercy and compassion of a God who understands our failings and forgives us no matter what if we are sorry. Who heals our wounds and makes us whole again. Who calls us to true peace and joy, not a fleeting peace brought on by denial that returns over and over again.
If you have experienced abortion, make it a point to pray for those out there suffering, that they may find true peace and healing in our God of compassion and mercy.