Sunday, September 25, 2011

Forgiveness For Abortion

My last post on forgiveness and reconciliation concluded that the reason for my reconciliation, with God and with my neighbor, is so that I can love them, even as God loves them. Reconciliation is not just for me, it’s for them. That’s a key purpose of my life, to get myself and others to heaven, through God’s love, which He and I can bring to them.

I thought when I wrote this last one that it was a concluding meditation, but I guess not, because my mind wandered back over it again last night, and suddenly I realized there was more to be said. I cannot conclude my thoughts on the importance of life, without considering the implications of death, of taking a life.

I started out by recalling the three meditations I wrote on motherhood and giving life, which I started on Mother’s Day. In them my mind went from the realization of the importance of motherhood --- Jesus’ own mother was the only thing He took from this earth (The Assumption) --- to the reason for that importance: mothers, like God, bring forth life. And human life, created in the image of God, is the most precious thing in creation. It is a soul for God to love, the reason for His creative action, since he has no other obvious needs or wants from creation. Life exists that He might love, and that we exist that we might imitate His love.

And I realized last night that this conclusion was similar to that of my last post, on reconciliation. Reconciliation is important because it again enables God to love us, or us to imitate Him in our love of our neighbor. All these thoughts point to the importance of God’s Love, and the value and purpose of human life.

And then I thought further: If love, life, and reconciliation are so important for us to achieve what God MADE us for, then what of those who eliminate any possibility of those things happening? What of those who commit abortion, taking of a life created for and destined to satisfy God’s love?

Someone who commits abortion rejects God’s love, even as a spouse rejects her mate’s love by adultery; it is the ultimate act of betrayal. Life, the special gift of God to mothers, their special responsibility, is not only not brought to God (as I sometimes fail to bring some to Him), not only rejected (as I fail to forgive some of my neighbors), but it is also killed. One who commits abortion not only rejects reconciliation with God for herself, but also rejects a key purpose of her life, to bring others to God, and especially the one whose life was a precious gift to her to care for, and her alone. “I won’t come to Your banquet and I won’t seek to bring this other either, and I will kill him rather than let him come to You,” her actions seem to say. How horrible the thought!

So then, what of God’s desire for forgiveness and reconciliation in this situation? His child seems to be screaming at Him in words and action: “I hate You! I hate You! I hate You!!!” What now, of God’s desire to love?

My first reaction is one of horror in the face of this blind hatred. Hatred seems such an evil thing in itself. Sometimes hatred may be put in words, but I think hatred is especially felt by actions, by seeing the hateful actions of another --- even if the one doing the actions may not perceive the hurt they convey. The adulterer in a marriage looks to another person for some type of satisfaction, some fulfillment of something THEY WANT. And in the greed of their desire for themselves alone, they may not realize that there is something missing that THEY GIVE. The forgotten spouse feels the effect of adultery in the love not given to them, and in the rejection of their love. I perceive similar feelings are felt by God, when someone makes a “choice” for abortion. I’m sad for God, and wish I could do something to brighten His spirit.

I think, as with earthly parents who may have heard such words of hate from their teenage child, the only consolation possible for them is through reconciliation with their child. Words alone won’t fix the hurt; actions are needed. Despite the horrible rejection by a teenage child, the parents still want to love him. Despite the abortion, God still wants to love His child too. God always offers forgiveness, His love is always available, but how does the one who commits abortion actually reconcile with Him? The adulterer can tell his spouse that he now rejects his lover and ask forgiveness, vowing not to commit adultery again. Then the spouse’s forgiveness and reconciliation is in forgetting the adultery --- a most difficult, but possible, task --- but how can anyone, even God, forget that a child has been killed? A little child who was special to God was killed. How can God forgive and act as if it didn’t happen? How can the one who killed forget? It did happen, and the result of it continues on, like an empty chair at the eternal banquet. How can He not notice? How can He forget?

How can anyone make up for killing one of God’s little children? It is impossible.

But: With God, all things are possible.

So how does one seek forgiveness of God for committing abortion? Oh, the Sacrament of Reconciliation enables forgiveness and reconciliation, and anyone can seek it and be given absolution there. But even in being forgiven, how can the one who committed abortion imagine sitting at Christ’s eternal banquet, in total joy, with the empty seat next to her? Were it I, even if I were STILL invited to the banquet, I would be most reluctant to go. Even if offered and given forgiveness, I don’t know if I would be able to forgive myself.

And I think this is the situation with many a would-be-mother, who has killed her child.

But there is hope. All things are possible.

If the special guest you were asked to bring to the banquet, your little child, can no longer come (for reasons both you and God know), I think the next best thing you can do to please God, the banquet host, is to bring someone else. I think God would understand this, and be pleased at your extra action to ensure His banquet is a total success. Surely in this world there are many lost souls, one-time friends of God who turned away, or perhaps just forgot Him. I believe you can please God very much by bringing that someone to the banquet to sit in that empty chair next to you. Bringing God’s long-lost friend to the banquet will give Him great joy: “It’s been so long since I’ve seen you. I’ve missed you. I am so glad that you are here.” And then God will look over the long-lost friend’s shoulder, and He will smile at you for bringing him.

And you may even find that the long-lost friend of God, the one who did not seem destined for heaven, but who you found and brought along is, surprisingly, you. And I think this would please God very much.

You can never make up for the child you prevented from receiving God’s eternal love, but that does not mean there is nothing you can do. You can’t expect to create a bed of roses from a pile of lemons, but you can make lemonade.

And the taste can be sweet, if you put enough love and commitment in it, for with God, “all things are possible.”

Lord, it is not for myself that I live, but for Thee. Turn from my great sins, please, or surely I shall die. But I know that in Thee all things are possible because You are all love.

Despite my sins, give me Your great Love, O Lord, and I shall attempt to spread it throughout the world. This I promise You. Not just for me Lord, but for all Your children, have mercy on me, and I shall share Your Love with those I meet, that together we might meet you in eternity.

“Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, each looking out not for his own interests, but also those of others.
---- Philippians 2

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