© NATIONAL CATHOLIC REGISTER
Editor’s note: This reflection was originally published Feb. 16 on the National Catholic Register website.
I love my aborted son Joshua. I realize how crazy that must sound to others. How could I possibly love my son when I aborted him?
I have asked myself that question millions of times over the years. Why wasn’t I strong enough to stand up to the pressures to abort? How could I have done that? What was I thinking?
I do know that I was filled with fear – alone and desperate for love and acceptance. It’s ironic that seeking to hold on to the love I thought was there with my parents caused me to commit the ultimate act of the failure of love. A love deeper and more important than the love I was seeking to preserve, or afraid to lose. The love of a mother and her child.
I know many people believe that I deserve to suffer, that I do not deserve God’s love and mercy. They are right. I don’t. But that is the amazing thing about our God: “When we were lost and could not find our way to him, he loved us more than ever” (Eucharistic Prayer for Reconciliation I).
He took my emptiness and brokenness, and filled it with himself. He showed me how much I need him, that I am nothing without him, and that he is everything. He showed me that nothing I can possibly do can make up for the terrible sin of abortion – but that he, through his suffering, death and resurrection, paid the price of my sin for me.
There are millions of us out there; souls separated from God because of abortion. Mothers, fathers, siblings, grandparents. Millions. Many live in the silent suffering of abortion, terrified to let others know what they have done. Souls that are unable to even listen to the prolife message because they are so filled with guilt and shame they cannot bear it. They have no hope. They do not know God’s mercy. Souls who feel there is no forgiveness for them and that the pro-life movement is unapproachable and judgmental. Souls who justify and rationalize abortion because, to them, there is no other alternative.
Wounded souls are everywhere – in our families, workplaces and even our church pews. If we can’t reach them, if we can’t bring them to the heart of Christ, how will abortion ever end?
We who have been there witness to Christ because we know the depths of his love and mercy. We know what he can do in peoples’ lives because he has done it for us. There is nothing lower than abortion, yet he meets us there in this place of darkness because he loves us. He waits for us there with his mercy beyond understanding to pour his boundless love into this place of the ultimate failure of love. We, who were without love, now experience the magnitude of God’s love through his forgiveness; the truth of our poverty and what he has done for us and the truth of his mercy.
May we, with God at our side, help pour his love into those still empty so that truth and love prevail, hate and bitterness no longer find a home, and abortion is ended forever.
Theresa Bonopartis is the co-developer, with The Sisters of Life, of “Entering Canaan – a Sacramental Journey to an Inheritance of Mercy.” The Entering Canaan Ministry is a multifaceted program consisting of retreat days, weekend retreats, monthly gathering groups and special retreats. Entering Canaan accompanies those who are wounded from the pain of abortion to the mercy, forgiveness and love of God, and addresses the spiritual, psychological and emotional aspects of abortion. To learn more about Entering Canaan, visit https://www.enteringcanaan.com/.
Bonopartis, Theresa: © 2023 EWTN News, Inc. Reprinted with permission from the National Catholic Register – http://www.ncregister.com.