I recently attended a mass in which the priest focused on “hope.” He spoke of hope being rooted in reality and that it is not a wishing like earthly hope, but a knowing. It is a knowing hope because of the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ.
In the Catholic faith, we who are post abortive have the beautiful Encyclical written by Blessed Pope John Paul II, “Evangelium Vitae”, “The Gospel of Life.” I am certain, like me, many women and men searched its pages to find the words of the Holy Father to those of us who had aborted a child. What a gift of understanding, compassion, and mercy…it was as if he knew everything…our difficulty in the decision, our pain and guilt after, while still standing firm to the wrong of abortion. Like the God of Mercy he represents, the Pope also addressed our desire for knowledge as to the care of our children.
As we dealt with our sin, there was a fear to think of our children’s fate and the possibility of heaven being closed to them because they were not baptized, but Blessed John Paul II reassures us, “To the same Father and his mercy you can with sure hope entrust your child.”
A “sure hope” is not found in earthly terms, but in reality – the reality of Jesus Christ who is mercy Himself.
There are those who, unfortunately, have trouble with the thought of our children in heaven. They fear that if we know they are in heaven it will somehow make abortion okay, or not as painful, as if the thought of our child living with Christ makes the killing justified.
They seek to close off heaven to the unborn as if a baptism of blood, in their innocence, where not allowed by God. They reject the comfort it may give to those who have participated in abortion, fearful that this comfort would make them believe abortion is all right.
With John Paul II, I say to those people, “Be not afraid!” No one knows more than a mother’s heart, no matter what she says, that abortion is wrong. It is their child, tied by a motherly bond that even abortion cannot dissolve.
The thought of their children in heaven does bring hope – not a hope that focuses on them or reduces the seriousness of their sin, but a sure hope in Jesus, and His Mercy, allowing them to be reunited with their unborn children.
Sanctioning people to a life without hope is not something of God, who sent His son into the world for the forgiveness of all sin – even the sin of abortion.
I assure you, there will still be suffering. The thought of a child in heaven does not negate the act of abortion, nor the loss of that child to this world, but it does accentuate the mercy of our God – the mercy of a God who desires the salvation of all sinners, even women and men who participate in abortion. If they can get to heaven, why would this same God omit their children?
He wouldn’t. As another translation of the Gospel of Life states, they are “living in the Lord.”
Post abortive people do not need others to make sure they suffer, we suffer enough on our own. You may not always see it. It may be covered up or hidden in denial, guilt, shame or maybe even arrogance, but it is there, for God alone, who knows our hearts to judge.
May we all look to the mercy and grace of God that alone saves us all from sin. May we not limit His goodness, who died on the cross for our salvation, and may we never take for granted the remission of our sins, but humbly follow Him with gratitude for the mercy He has shown us all. Be not afraid!
Written by Theresa Bonopartis
This post was originally featured on Theresa’s blog Reclaiming Our Children