Todays Readings: Thursday after Ash Wednesday
Something I recently implemented into my family’s day is reading the Gospel together, picking out a verse, from that verse a word, sometimes part of the actual verse sometimes not, and then coming up with an act for the day based on that verse/word. The idea being we let God led us to it.
As I reflected on this scripture passage, the verse God led me to was, “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me”. The word God led me to from that verse, was REPARATION.
Reparation-“the making of amends for a wrong one has done; the act of repairing something.” It came as no surprise to me as it seems this has been my word for the new year!
The past year and a half, as I began my journey towards health (I struggle with chronic illness) my health has taken a turn for the worse. It has been difficult to say the least, with three small children still at home, adult children problems and all that COVID-19 has brought to the world, to get through a day without the question, “why?” Yet again and again God seems to answer with that word. Reparation. Of course, he continually invites me to offer up my daily crosses and follow Him, but he’s gone beyond that to lead me towards reparation.
Another practice I have added to my own spiritual life is praying the rosary of Our Lady of Sorrows. In it, you ask for the perfect contrition for your sins and by doing so it has led me to such a deep sorrow for so many things I’ve done that at times I struggle to make it to the end of the prayer. Thankfully, meditating on the sorrows Mary endured, has helped me to bear this sorrow as I’m able to unite it to hers and the swords of sorrows that pierced her own motherly heart. Even though Mary’s sorrow was caused by no sin of her own, meditating on her miraculous strength and courage has led me to this greater purpose of reparation in my daily life.
For so many women who’ve gone through an abortion experience the desire to go back, make a different decision, bring our child/children back, is often too much to bear. Indeed we cannot carry the pain alone or else it would crush us. Many times we turn inward to a life of self-condemnation and degradation. It’s impossible to believe there could be a greater purpose for our suffering. But what if there IS a greater purpose? Something unimaginable, something we don’t deserve but God wills to give to us? Could I possibly fix what I’ve done? The answer is no, there is nothing WE can do to fix the fact that our child/children are not here with us, but the goodness of God can. The goodness of God will help me to take up my cross, THIS cross of abortion. The goodness of God calls me away from self and draws me closer to Him where I can face what I’ve done without it crushing me. Instead, it holds me through the pain and suffering and teaches me how to use it.
Herein lies the greater purpose. Reparation. not the dictionaries definition I mentioned above but spiritual reparation. For me it has been in the form of many things. Sharing my story; loving and ministering to others who’ve been through an abortion experience, etc. not in an attempt to “make up” or fix what I’ve done, but to take what I’ve done and offer it to God to use for my salvation and the salvation of others. How Glorious! That God would take my greatest sin, the sin of abortion and use it as a means of my salvation and the salvation of the world!! How undeserving I am but how deserving He is!
Today, offer one small thing to God in reparation for the sin of your abortion for Him to use as He wills and pray a prayer of gratitude for allowing you to participate in His Glorious work!
“Thank you, Jesus, for loving me and bringing good out of the wrong I’ve done”. – Clarissa L