By Kevin Burke, LSW
Sunday April 11th we celebrate the feast of Divine Mercy. In her Diary of a Soul, the saint of Divine Mercy, Sr. Maria Faustina Kowalska shares of her intimate mystical encounters with the Lord Jesus, and the power of His mercy.
Take special note of what Jesus says about trust:
“All grace flows from mercy … even if a person’s sins were as dark as night, God’s mercy is stronger than our misery. I am love and mercy itself…Let no soul fear to draw near to Me…
My mercy is greater than your sins, and those of the entire world…Come then with trust to draw graces from this fountain. … The graces of My mercy are drawn by the means of one vessel only, and that is trust.
The more a soul trusts, the more it will receive.” (My emphasis)
There are some experience of sin, trauma and loss, such as abortion and sexual abuse, that attack our ability to trust. In the aftermath, it can be challenging to open our hearts and souls to receive the mercy and healing of Jesus.
We often think of abortion in the context of the contentious political and religious divisions that are a fruit of the 1973 Supreme Court Decision to legalize the procedure.
But at the heart of this experience for women and men, are damaged relationships; the relationship between the mother and father of the aborted child or children; the intimate connection between the parent and child in the womb; and others who had some role in the decision to abort, and facilitated the actual procedure.
There are often powerful feelings connected to the abortion event. Women and men experience anger, betrayal, abandonment, as well as guilt and fear of judgement by God and others. There is often a denial of the natural need to acknowledge and grieve what was lost.
One has to harden the heart to repress the natural pain that follows this intimate physical and emotional loss. That makes it difficult, on a deeper level, to trust others.
But this can also impact our relationship with God.
Many women and men will benefit from the experience of an abortion healing program like Rachel’s Vineyard. The emotional and spiritual healing process of the weekend retreat safely opens the heart and soul so you can share the memories and feelings of that time in your life.
As you go through the special scripture meditations and exercises, and tell your story, you begin to see you are not alone. Light begins to shine where there was darkness. As the weekend progresses, the heart softens, and is now open to receive God’s healing and mercy.
Here is a powerful testimony from Chuck and Linda Raymond who are part of Rachel’s Vineyard and the Silent No More Awareness Campaign. The couple shares about how an abortion loss they experienced as teenagers impacted their marriage, and how they came to experience God’s mercy and healing on a Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat:
If you are a mother, father, grandparent, friend or someone who facilitated the abortion of a child in the womb, there are healing programs ready to reach out to you with safe and confidential assistance.
Even if you feel unworthy, and struggle to trust in God’s mercy, step out in faith. God will bless you abundantly.
Mary the mother of Jesus has been called the Mother of Mercy. Here’s an original song and video that tells the story of Mary’s role in salvation history.