In reflecting on today’s readings, the words that jumped out to me are prisoners, confinement, dungeon, darkness. I did the unthinkable, and put myself in darkness, made myself a prisoner, confined in the dungeon. I never meant to become pregnant and unmarried. I was alone in my agony, pain and trauma, hurting from being raped at the age of 12, by a stranger, never telling a grownup that this happened to me. Even though I was broken because of this trauma, there is never an excuse for an abortion. Instead of turning to the light, I remained entrenched in darkness for 40 years. Now an army was encamped against me, evildoers devoured my flesh, all because I chose to kill my child. I was dead in my sin. I was not living.
My journey to healing has only just begun. To have lived in this hell, this darkness and fear has caused such agony and suffering. Why did I wait so long to seek the Lord? Because of the shame, the guilt, I’d been excommunicated from the church after all, because of this grave sin, or so I thought. Like Lazarus in today’s Gospel, I too am a thief if you will, a criminal-I chose to kill my child because I was afraid. I didn’t want to destroy my parents. I chose death for my child and for myself. God in all His goodness showed me that there is healing after an abortion. There is hope. There is help available, there are good people waiting for you to take the first step and pick up the phone. It’s scary to take the first step, admit you need help, that you are dying in your sin, that you are separated from God, that your relationships are compromised, that you are not living whole, healed and in the light of Christ.
Is this Jesus really who He says He is? All merciful, all loving, waiting for the hardened sinner? I had to find out. “A bruised reed he shall not break, and a smoldering wick he shall not quench.”(IS 42:3) I was beyond bruised and now am coming to realize the Lord God wants me whole, “He who created the heavens…who gives breath and spirit to His people”(IS 42:4,5). If only I believe and trust that He calls the shots, He’s “grasping me by the hand”(IS 42:7). I don’t believe I deserve to come out of the darkness, but it’s time. It’s time to allow the Lord to be “my light and my salvation”, not to fear, to “believe that I shall see the bounty of the Lord in the land of the living”(PS 27:13,14). I want that healing NOW, and I want to live NOW. Like Mary anointing the feet of Jesus with costly perfumed oils, I want to always be with Jesus and listen to Him, not to the lies that have held me back from healing. Jesus is more merciful than the weight of my sin(s). He can heal. He has already redeemed us in His blood. As we enter Holy Week, we can ponder the suffering Jesus endured, and the price He paid for our grave sin of abortion. We can be assured that we are forgiven and so deeply loved. If only we unite our suffering to His, and know He is victorious over sin, as we “wait for the Lord with courage, be stouthearted and wait for the Lord”(PS 27:14). We will spend eternity with Jesus, and meet our children, because I do believe that “the Lord is my light and my salvation”(PS 27:1). Come out of the darkness, out of the dungeon and confinement and come to the light in the land of the living. Mother Mary, remain at our side, and bring us ever closer to your Son Jesus. Jesus I trust in you.