“I think God hates me!” I blurted out to the newly ordained priest assigned to our parish. I was in RCIA, not yet a Catholic, but I knew that I couldn’t enter the Church with this stain on my soul.
I often think back to that conversation, it was the first time I told a priest what I had done. I expected confirmation that I had indeed committed an unforgivable sin but what I received was my first real experience of God’s mercy. This young priest assured me that God didn’t hate me, and even offered that it was clear God was calling me back to Him.
Wait……. what? Was that possible?
O come, let us return to the Lord, He will heal us, He will bind our wounds.
A few years later I felt moved to attend a Post Abortion Day of Reflection. If I’m honest, that day was one of the worst in my life. Even though it had been more than 15 years since my abortion, I hadn’t yet faced the gravity of what I had done. The messages of love, encouragement, and mercy that surrounded me that day were so overwhelming I couldn’t wait for the day to be over.
As awful as the day was for me, it was a necessary first step. It allowed me to see how deep my wounds were, and how broken I was as a result of my abortion. I have since taken a few more steps down my path to healing. Some steps have been easy and others quite painful, but one thing is clear; He never stopped loving me and He never stopped calling to me to come back to Him. I am His beloved daughter and He wants me to be healed.
Today a brave group of women in our Diocese are attending a similar Day of Reflection and for some this may be their first step toward healing. Please join me in praying that, through this ministry, they experience God’s mercy today and know that God is indeed calling them back to Him.