“He humbled Himself and became Obedient unto death” (Philippians 2:8)
It is easy to get caught up in our pride, to think we have the answers; to want to defend ourselves. To come from self-reliance instead of surrender and abandoning ourselves into the arms of Mary knowing she will always lead us to her Son.
When I was 17 I became pregnant. I was thrown out of the house, told to forget I had a family and coerced into an abortion by my father who cut me off from everyone I knew and loved. I saw my unborn son. This led me to self-hatred and moved me far from God. I felt unforgivable and that God too had abandoned me along with my family. I did not trust He would be there for me in my needs and so I closed myself off to love in what I thought was protection relying only on myself.
It has been a long journey to healing. One I set out on with Mary by my side and continue to this day. She shows me my human weaknesses and the ways my abortion impacted my life, teaching me to fight the demons of despair, abandonment, shame, and guilt that want me to not believe in God’s love and mercy for me.
Who can even begin to imagine how exhausted Jesus was by the time of His third fall? He must have been in excruciating pain. He had been beaten, crowned with thorns, mocked, and spat upon and now made to carry His cross, the weight of which overcame Him. He knows well the pain of abortion because He took it on HImself
In Jasna Gora Poland you can find the station of the cross depicted here. Years ago, Fr Mariusz Koch, CFR and I led a pilgrimage to Poland to visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa who is patroness of the “Entering Canaan” ministry that I developed for those suffering from abortion,
I was particularly struck by this ninth station which clearly depicts babies on the ground next to the weeping Jesus.
Here is the explanation given for this station:
” …, this time we have Jesus who is weeping. Through suffering of children the Son of God suffers the most. He is helpless like a child in the mother’s womb. The passion of the Christ means also beating, abuse, raping and killing of the most innocent.”
How much weeping Jesus and Mary must do for the unborn who every day are slaughtered in their mothers’ wombs, but they weep not only for the babies but for all the souls lost to them because of abortion.
Mothers filled with despair, thinking they have committed the unforgiveable sin, fathers who coerced and are filled with remorse feeling the weight of their failure in protecting their child , siblings who always felt like someone was missing and cannot reconcile the fact that a brother or sister was aborted, attacking the very dignity of their personhood leaving them feeling guilty for being alive.
As I walk to through the desert of my own abortion to Canaan and grow deeper in His love, I share that love with others and what Mary has taught me so they too may come to see that healing is not about what we have done but about what Jesus has done for us by His suffering, death and resurrection.
I have allowed Him deep into my wounds, allowed Him to love me, always going deeper.
He in my wounds, me in His. This joining in the passion at the cross, the place of the ultimate love.
Everyday in our country almost three thousand babies are aborted, and many souls lost. We as a country enshrine abortion and pass by clinics every day. Most never give it a thought and yet it is truly the modern day calvary where Jesus is crucified.
I imagine Jesus was overcome with grief at this station seeing the sins against purity and the loss of life of the innocents, but He got up once again out of love for us. To redeem me, to redeem you from our sins.
When I am feeling overcome with grief in ministry at the magnitude of abortion and those suffering. When I am feeling anger at the government, the abortionists, or the pro-abortion people we encounter, I go to adore Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. I ask for His grace in courage, strength, and perseverance and I ask for Him to teach me how to always love.
There is a great quote by Maximillian Kolbe that I say every day, it is simply, “Don’t ever forget to love.” To hold on to love, to act through love, to allow love Himself to live in my heart. I ask Mary to guide me each day because I know, “She can do all things God wills and she is always victorious”
I have learned now to fight against my tendency to want to protect myself through self reliance. I know now, that God Himself is my protection. That He has always been there for me, loving me. That He would never abandon me. I see now that His weeping at this station was for me and for my son
Beneath this station of the cross it also says
This passion also ends with Salvation. Behind the children’s hell there is a ladder with Jacob’s dream. It will first of all provide access to children, who will ascend on it, before all martyrs, “for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”