Afraid? I was terrified to approach God. It was years after my abortion until I dared to even step foot into a church, and then it was only because my son was about to make his first communion. I was sure the walls would fall down around me, and that everyone would know I had killed my unborn child.
My feelings are not unique. Over the years I have heard this sentiment from countless women and men who have participated in abortion. Yet, it was in the church, through a servant of God in the form of a priest that I embarked on my journey of healing, and understanding of the mercy and forgiveness of God. This priest was a sign of God’s love for me, a ray of hope in my hopeless world. There are no words to explain the importance of their role in post abortion healing.
Since that day years ago, I have been very blessed to know, be directed by, and work with some very wonderful holy priest’s. I have also had the privilege of seeing countless post abortive women and men reach healing, many of whom were aided by these men.
Through the patience and unconditional love they have shown, sometimes by hearing the same abortion confessed over and over again in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, they have been a sign of God’s mercy and forgiveness. Standing side by side with these souls through battles of post abortion stress, they often go down to the pits of hell to pull these people out of the grasp of despair and have given these women and men the courage to move forward assuring them all things are possible with God, even self forgiveness!
There is nothing that can compare to the peace of seeing those who have suffered so deeply finally knowing they have been forgiven in the sacrament, the first time! Often, these women and men have been away from the church for years, and need to learn the faith, sometimes for the first time. The compassion and understanding these clergy display reflect to those who go to them the love of the person of Jesus Christ.
Whether it is in the Entering Canaan ministry or other venues I have participated in, I am so grateful to God for these men. Often overworked, and very often underappreciated, they strive to be a sign of God’s love in our suffering world to those they are called to serve.
In this season of Lent may those separated from the church and suffering in silence return to Christ through the Sacrament of reconciliation where He is waiting t forgive them.
May we all say a prayer of gratitude for the clergy. May we show them our appreciation not only by our prayers but by our words and works. Thank you Fathers, for your help in bringing the mercy of God to those suffering from a past abortion. May our children in heaven intercede for you until they greet you in paradise!