EXTENDING THE HAND OF MERCY - Message of the Catholic Organization for Life and Family On the Occasion of the National March for Life, Ottawa, May 12, 2016

Wednesday, 20 April 2016
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While thousands of Canadians are preparing to participate in the National March for Life to be held in Ottawa on May 12, the Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF) turns its attention to the second victims of abortion – all those Moms who have lost part of themselves by taking the life of their child.

There is Barbara who is approaching death.  She is 84 and for decades has carried the burden of her secret . . .  There is also Kathy  who at 50 is unable to shake her depression . . .  And Jessica who just celebrated her 32nd birthday but continues to struggle with her drug addiction . . .  and finally Chloe who is only 17 but no longer believes in love with a capital L . . .

Each of these women (with fictional names), without knowing it, carries the deep wound of an abortion they had voluntarily or pressured by a relative or boyfriend.  According to Pope Francis this is a “profoundly unjust”   . . .  “moral and existential ordeal”.  This is why, during this Jubilee, he has extended to all the priests of the world “the discretion to absolve of the sin of abortion those who have procured it and who, with a contrite heart, seek forgiveness for it” (September 1, 2015 letter to Archbishop Rino Fisichella). 

Who among us does not know at least one woman who has had an abortion? This is not a question of judging or condemning, but rather of reaching out to them during this Jubilee Year of Mercy in order to bring them to the Physician of souls – Christ, who is full of love and compassion.  Let us be more attentive to their silent cry and their forbidden suffering. There could be no greater spiritual work of mercy than to bring one’s mother, one’s sister, friend or colleague to the Sacrament of Reconciliation where Christ awaits them, longing to extend his healing and forgiveness.

So let us walk on May 12 in solidarity with the unborn children who ask only to be born.

And let us walk throughout the year with these women wounded by abortion and often unconsciously thirsting for hope! The followig resources can be of help to us:

       “When Life Takes us by Surprise”:  Talks given during COLF’s 2015 Seminar:http://www.colf.ca/index.php/en/events/item/225-when-life-takes-us-by-surprise

       Project Rachel: http://hopeafterabortion.com/

       Rachel’s Vineyard: http://www.rachelsvineyard.org/