As the Generation with the Highest Abortion Rates Enters their Golden Years, Now is the Time to Reconcile and Heal. A Different Way of Looking at Death, Judgement, and Eternal Separation from God.

As the Generation with the Highest Abortion Rates Enters their Golden Years, Now is the Time to Reconcile and Heal. A Different Way of Looking at Death, Judgement, and Eternal Separation from God.


By Kevin Burke, LSW

November is a month when we remember our beloved dead, yet also meditate on our own mortality.  In the light of eternity, it is close at hand.

Those moving into retirement and facing transition to their final years on this earth, are more acutely aware of this reality.   As we await the exciting anticipation of Advent, and Joys of Christmas, November is the perfect time to give attention to some long neglected areas of life that need reconciliation and healing. 

As you will see, this can have eternal significance.

The decade of the 1980’s was a period when our nation had the highest abortion rates.   The U.S. abortion ratio reached its peak in 1984, with 364 abortions for every thousand live births.  The high mark since the legalization of abortion occurred in 1988 with 1,590,800 procedures. [1] 

Many of the young women and men who participated in the death of their preborn children, are entering a time of life when their living children have been raised, and they transition to retirement.  This can be a wonderful time of blessing (e.g., grandchildren) and the opportunity to explore new interests, enjoy travel, and finally learn to play that piano that has been taking up space in the living room for many years. 

But as the years pass, we also begin to experience the loss of dear friends and relatives, and face our own mortality.   

Judgement, Hell and Eternal Separation from God – An Outdated Concept?

Many of the great mystics and theologians of the Church speak of a time immediately following our death, when we will experience a review of our lives in the light of God’s love, mercy, but also his justice. 

However, the concept of Hell, a painful and eternal separation from God, are seem by many today as remnants of a past age when cruel clergymen used fear to control and manipulate their flocks. 

 It is tragic that the faith experience for some people featured a steady and abusive stream of messages with a singular emphasis on personal sin, damnation and hell. There was a failure to share the compassionate love, mercy and forgiveness of our Heavenly Father, and the joy of the Gospel.

But it is a grave error to shift so far from the sickness of fear-based faith, to abandoning belief in judgement and the consequence of eternal separation from God due to persistent, serious sin. 

Many people today consider judgement and hell outdated concepts.  How can a loving God condemn a person to eternal suffering?

One of the visionaries of the apparitions of the Blessed Mother at Medjugorje, Mirjana Soldo, wondered the same thing, as she shared in her autobiography, My Heart Will Triumph:

“I asked our Lady, ‘How can God be so unmerciful as to condemn people to Hell for eternity’?

 [Mary responded] God does not send people to Hell.  They choose to be there…They rage against God and they suffer, but they always refuse to pray.” [2]

Why would someone choose hell? 

We can become deeply attached to our sins, and to the denial and justification for what we have done, and failed to do.  There can a prideful failure to examine the need for repentance and healing. 

At the same time, it is important to point out that many women and men avoid reconciliation and healing, not because they are in denial of their sin, but because of shame, fear, and self-condemnation. This points to the value of an abortion healing program to safely open the heart and soul to accept God’s mercy, and embrace their aborted child, now living in the Lord, with love.

But for those still unrepentant of serious sin, the encounter with the light of God’s perfect love, mercy, and justice at the time of death, may be a searing, painful shock that will shake them to the core of their being.   

Considering the words of the Blessed Mother to Mirjana, might a person become so attached to their denial, justification, and celebration of sin that they will be repelled by the light and truth of God? 

 They may be tempted to shut themselves off from receiving this truth, from accepting the mercy of God that will move them to repentance.  This denial can lead them to reject the invitation to enter into the purgation of their sin so they can, in time, enter the joys of heaven.  

Others may come to face their sins, but become so overwhelmed by the consequences of their actions that they are tempted by Satan to reject salvation.  

Souls in such darkness, as the Blessed Mother shared with Mirjana, can choose hell.

If you are feeling a sense of fear, or anxiety reading this, keep reading, and remember what Jesus said to his disciples after his resurrection, especially to those that betrayed him during his darkest hours; “Don’t be afraid.”

Be Not Afraid

For those that reach out in humility to receive the forgiveness and healing mercy of Jesus, there is nothing to fear, in this life, or in death. We are all sinners in need of God’s mercy, healing and forgiveness.   Jesus cautioned us against proudly pointing out the splinter in our brother’s eye, while we have a large plank blinding our own sight.    

 If you have an area of serious sin in your life like abortion, or multiple abortions in your past, don’t let fear keep you from the love and mercy of God. There are many factors that influence one’s decision to have an abortion. You may have great anger and hurt about being pressured by others to abort, and abandoned during a time of physical and emotional vulnerability. There are often others, the baby’s father, family, friends that carry some, or perhaps a greater share of the moral responsibility for the decision to abort.

Now is the time to attend to this important spiritual, and emotional healing work.  Failure to do so can generate fear and anxiety, and leave us spiritually vulnerable when we come to a time of serious illness, physical decline and dependency, or are left unprepared for a sudden death experience.   

Even if you are facing a terminal illness, and in your final days, you can still find reconciliation, healing and peace.  It is never too late, and Jesus hungers to receive you in his loving embrace.   Remember as Jesus told us, the angels in heaven rejoice when one sinner repents and reconciles with their Heavenly Father. Now is the time to reconcile this sin, and all serious sin in our lives, with God and His Church.

A program like Rachel’s Vineyard will be especially helpful to provide an opportunity to open your heart and soul to safely explore this time of your life.  Nothing is ever forced, and your freedom will always be respected.  But rest assured, God moves powerfully in this weekend program. 

With the loving support of the Rachel’s Vineyard retreat team, and other participants, you will find some measure of peace and healing that will bless you not only in this life, but in the eternal life to come.   


This is an original song about the Medjugorje visionary Mirjana Soldo based on her amazing autobiography “My Heart Will Triumph.”

[1] O’Bannon, R. (2003).  Abortion Statistics and Trends over the Past Thirty Years.

[2] Mirjana Soldo.  My Heart Will Triumph.  Pages 149-150


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