By Bro. Hyacinth Grubb, O.P.
“I could never trust any decision I made after that. My abortion—it was like a grenade went off inside me. How could I trust myself after I had done that? How could I be the same after I had done that?”
She wept when she told me that, and recounted her story. She was young, and her family had pressured her immensely. And yet, she still made the decision. In the sacraments she has been washed clean in the blood of the Lamb, and like Mary Magdalene, her prayers have become an aromatic perfume before her Lord (John 12). And yet, she will never be the same.
She’s not the only one who feels such poignant anguish and regret after aborting a child—many women do. Many men feel a similar anguish, after encouraging and condoning the abortion of their child. While not everyone who procures an abortion will have the same visceral experience of a spiritual wound, and while it can take many years to fully confront and admit to that wound, that wound is there. How could it not be, when abortion kills a child?
47 years ago we, as a nation, made the decision to legalize abortion as a constitutional right. So I ask you, can we trust any decision we make after we have done that? Can we ever be the same after detonating that grenade in our nation’s soul?
Today, I ask you to look at our country honestly. Look at the ways we fail, and see how inevitable they are in the light of the gaping wound of 60 million abortions. We have failed to reach immigration policies that respect both the plight of migrants and the common good of citizens—but why would you expect us to treat other children well when we kill our own? We have become enmeshed in conflicts that hardly meet the standards of a just war—but how could we adhere to justice in foreign lands when public funds pay to kill children in this land? We have given legal approval and the title of marriage to increasingly unnatural relationships—but what is more unnatural than violently severing the relationship between mother and child? We have failed to protect and provide for the poor among us—but are you surprised when a child’s life is an acceptable price for a Golden Globe?
This is why it is so important that the U.S. Bishops, in their document on political responsibility, call abortion and euthanasia “preeminent threats to human dignity,” reminding us that “the direct and intentional destruction of innocent human life from the moment of conception until natural death is always wrong and is not just one issue among many. It must always be opposed.”
That reminder is one we should take to the voting booth. But today, we have a different task. Today is a day of mourning, penance, and prayer. Today we turn our eyes to Jesus Christ, who came to redeem those who mourn over sin. Uniting ourselves in prayer with and for all who suffer the wounds of abortion, we ask for healing.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Come, and comfort us. Come with generosity beyond our comprehension to give us peace beyond our wounds. Come, Lord Jesus.