Friday, July 5, 2013

Forgiveness, Divine Mercy and Healing from Abortion

Tomorrow is the feast day of St. Maria Goretti. It is a remarkable story. Trying to fend off the lustful approaches of a man named Allesandro, all she kept saying was "No! No! it's a sin!" Where did this young teenager get such courage? On the way to the hospital she kept saying "I forgive him, I forgive him." Eventually the hardened heart of Allesandro did repent and receive forgiveness. He went to jail, served his time and one night had a dream that changed his life. It was the young Maria Goretti handing him flowers and saying the words "I forgive you." Not only was Maria's mother present at the canonization of Maria Goretti, but so too was Allesandro. Remarkable! That is the healing power of Christ's love. The culture in the United States needs to be healed. Forty years of abortion (upwards of 1.2 million a year) has left many souls (men and women) scarred and wounded. The good news is God's healing love can be experienced if we practice the same forgiveness of St. Maria Goretti. Consider the following excerpt from the pamphlet Rachel Weep No More byby Bryan Thatcher, MD and Fr Frank Pavone. The chapter heading reads "A pro-abortion leader converts." Here it is in its entirety: "Divine Mercy is also triumphant in the life of Dr. Bernard Nathanson, who was a key architect of the abortion rights movement, a co-founder of the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) ran the largest abortion facility in the Western world and even aborted his own child. He too now drinks from the fountain of God's mercy in the sacraments of the church. Ironically, it was precisely the Church and its hierarchy that Nathanson and his colleagues targeted in their strategy to uncage the abortion monster. They knew that the church was the only significant obstacle in their way, and in their press releases they attempted to divide the shepherds from their flock, claiming that most Catholics approved of abortion. Morever, Nathanson says they took a calculated risk that the clergy would remain relatively silent. 'We would never have gotten away with what we did,' he has said to priests,'if you had been united, purposeful, and strong.' He claims that he and his colleagues 'stole the abortion issue from the church' while the church was sleeping. Dr. Nathanson was the director of the Center for Reproductive and Sexual Health in New York City. In his two years in that position he oversaw some 60,000 abortions. He also supervised residents in training who performed another 10,000 abortions. In addition, he performed some 5,000 abortions with his own hands in private practice. Dr. Nathanson even aborted his own child. He writes in The Hand of God: 'I believe it was Father Zossima in the Brothers Karamazov, who defined hell as the suffering of one unable to love, and if this is true I have served my sentence and then some. What is it like to terminate the life of your own child? It was asceptic and clinical. Yes, you may ask me but how did you feel? Did you not feel sad-not only because you had extinguished the life of an unborn child, but more, because you had destroyed your own child? I swear to you that I had no feelings aside from the sense of accomplishment, the pride of expertise. On inspecting the contents of the bag I felt only the satisfaction of knowing that I had done a thorough job. You pursue me: You ask if perhaps for a fleeting moment or so I experienced a flicker of regret, a microgram of remorse? No and no. And that, dear reader, is the mentality of the abortionist: another job well done, another demonstration of the moral neutrality of advanced technology in the hands of the amoral.'Yet, during his practice of abortion, Dr. Nathanson became increasingly unable to reconcile the contradiction between the sometimes-heroic medical efforts to save prematurely delivered babies and the legal slaughter of babies at the very same stage of development in the very same building. This, coupled with the increasing knowledge science was gaining about the human embryo and fetus, caused him to doubt from a purely scientific stance, whether abortion was advisable. In fact, he began wondering whether he had, in fact, presided over the deaths of nearly 75,000 human beings." Nathanson later admits it was the courageous and loving witness of pro-life advocates protesting outside a Planned Parenthood clinic that made him stop and think. "I began seriously to question what indescribable Force generated them to this activity." This Force is the mercy of Christ. It broke through another time in Nathanson's life when he saw the famous movie "the silent scream." In this movie you see a child literally writhe and jump in pain during an abortion. "Eventually, with the kind help and guidance of Fr. John McCloskey, an Opus Dei priest based in Princeton, NJ, Dr. Nathanson felt drawn to the waters of Baptism in the Catholic Church. Cardinal John O'Connor, Archbishop of New York, and a leading voice in the pro-life movement baptized him into the church. 'I am free from my sin', Dr. Nathanson says,'For the first time in my life, I will feel the shelter and warmth of faith.' In her Diary of Divine Mercy Saint Faustina recalls a conversation she saw between Jesus and a sinful soul.'Jesus: Be not afraid of your savior, o sinful soul. I make the first move to come to you, for I know that by yourself you are unable to lift yourself to me. Child, do not run away from your Father; be willing to talk openly with your God of Mercy who wants to speak words of pardon and lavish his graces on you. How dear your soul is to Me! I have inscribed your name upon My hand; you are engraved as a deep wound in My Heart....My child do you fear the God of mercy? My holiness does not prevent me from being merciful. Behold, for you I have established a throne of mercy on earth-the tabernacle-and from this throne I desire to enter your heart. I am not surrounded by a retinue or guards. You can come to me at any moment, at any time; I want to speak to you and desire to grant you grace.....My mercy is greater than your sins and those of the entire world. Who can measure the extent of my goodness? For you I descended from heaven to earth; for you I allowed myself to be nailed to the cross; for you I let my Sacred Heart be pierced with a lance, thus opening wide the source of mercy for you. Come, then, with trust to draw graces from this fountain. I never reject a contrite heart. Your misery has disappeared in the depths of my mercy. Do not argue with me about your wretchedness. You will give me pleasure if you hand over to me all your troubles and griefs. I shall heap upon you the treasures of My grace.' Wow! What great news! Whatever the sin, God has already healed it at the cross. Come and drink from the fountain of his love and mercy in confession. I did. It changed my life. It can change yours as well. Peace

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