Therefore I tell you, her sins
are forgiven because she loved much.
From Luke 7:47
In spite of the constraints of the pandemic, my parish is sponsoring our annual Baby Bottle Campaign. We normally provide empty baby bottles for those interested to fill with spare change. This year, those baby bottles are virtual. My hope is that our virtual responses will be tangible just the same! This project is near and dear to me because the proceeds provide assistance to women in the midst of difficult pregnancies. Whether they face single parenthood, poverty or a combination of issues, these moms receive help in providing for their babies. I happily support this effort because I’ve always believed that if we showed ourselves to be a more compassionate society, women who find themselves with an unwanted pregnancy would be more likely ask for help than for an abortion. Unfortunately, our willingness to pass judgment is sometimes more visible to these poor souls than our willingness to walk with them.
It’s been five years since Pope Francis issued a statement regarding those who have chosen to have an abortion. Still, I will never forget his merciful words… “I have met so many women who bear in their heart the scar of this agonizing and painful decision… The tragedy of abortion is experienced by some with a superficial awareness, as if not realizing the extreme harm that such an act entails… Many others, on the other hand, although experiencing this moment as a defeat, believe that they have no other option… I think in particular of all the women who have resorted to abortion. I am well aware of the pressure that has led them to this decision…”
I’ve spent a lifetime getting to know our loving and merciful God. God never chooses to be alienated from any of us. Francis put into words the message Jesus spent a lifetime teaching and the message which drives my writing and all that I do: God loves us no matter what. God asks only that we do our best in the moment at hand as only we can. When we do good, we rejoice. When we fail, we acknowledge our guilt, ask God’s forgiveness and begin anew.
Dear God, thank you for your deep love for us. Give us the courage and strength to teach this world your merciful ways.
©2020 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved