"Someone's beloved never got to be born"
Several months ago this blog [Adam's Ale] featured the priest’s frustration at dealing with young couples preparing for marriage who roll their eyes and sigh as he explains the Church’s teaching on premarital sex and birth control. Thirty-two years ago, I was one of those young people. I am still married and have 4 wonderful children, but I recently realized that even after going to Confession and being forgiven by God, I had not forgiven myself for these sins.
So I went to Adoration and in front of the Blessed Sacrament, bared my soul to God. The first day I talked to Him about birth control. Not only did my husband and I use artificial contraception, but I took oral contraceptives. I knew birth control pills were abortifacient, but I chose to pretend that it didn’t really count. Of all the things I have ever done in my 54 years on earth, this is the one I regret the most.
Catherine Grace and Benjamin Douglas
And how many more
Poor souls conceived and then destroyed
By my selfishness.
And yet my selfishness is my loss.
What could be more intimate than nursing a baby,
Giving of myself to one who is helpless without me
Giving what only I can give,
Holding that gift from God
Looking into its tiny eyes
Counting its tiny fingers
Comforting a new creation
Not quite comfortable in this world
I’ll never be able to do that again.
Yes, I will have the chance to hold a baby
But not flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone.
I will have a chance to feed a baby
But never suckle it at my breast.
More than a sexual union
I think that this is the intimacy of the Eucharist…
God, reaching down
Looking us tenderly in the eye
And feeding us from his body and blood.
I had a chance to share in that mystery four times,
But how many more could there have been?
And even that is selfish, Lord.
What about the poor innocent souls
Who never got to live out their purpose in life.
One might have found a cure for cancer.
One might have been Pope.
One might have been a sport hero worthy of being looked up to.
I’m sorry, Lord.
I have taken innocent lives.
I have had abortions
I have murdered.
What have I done???
Oh, God, save me from the snare of the fowler
The snare that says I know better
The snare that says I’m OK because everyone does it.
Every sin is communal
Someone’s beloved never got to be born.
Someone’s best friend never took his first breath.
Someone’s favorite teacher never got to preschool.
Someone’s spiritual director was never even baptized.
Please don’t be like my friend who says that sorry doesn’t help. I can’t go backwards. Believe me, I wish I could.
How do I make amends?
How do I go to those saints in heaven and repay my debt?
How do I contact all of those people between the ages of 10 and 30 and say that I’m sorry that because of my selfishness and fear, someone important in their life won’t be there when they need them?
I cannot even look at You. I am so ashamed.
Look at me.
I pounded those nails. Worse than that, I jeered at you with the crowds. I was caught up in the fever of the day.
Look at me.
Can this be healed, Lord, it is so big?
You’re already forgiven. Come to me and be healed.
I cannot even look at you. How could I approach you?
Come. My mercy shall wash you clean.
Here is your God,
He comes with vindication;
With divine recompense
He comes to save you.
- Isaiah 35:4 -