From the E D
Dear Friends of Family Life,
A SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM POPE JOHN PAUL II TO WOMEN WHO HAVE HAD AN ABORTION
March 25 is the Feast of the Annunciation, when the angel announced Jesus’ conception and birth to the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is also a day which more and more Catholic dioceses around the world are declaring as “The Day of the Unborn” or “Respect for Life Day”. El Salvador was the first country to decree this Day in 1993, and one of the latest is Paraguay in 2003. This year, 25 March also happens to fall on Good Friday, a day for us to reflect on the heart of Jesus’ redemptive mission, “I came that they may have life, and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). The joy which accompanies the birth of the Messiah is thus seen to be the foundation and fulfillment of joy at every child born into the world (cf. John 16:21).
Pope John Paul II has always sent messages of encouragement to countries on this occasion. In his encyclical letter, which he gave on 25 March 1995, Evangelium Vitae, on the value and inviolability of human life, he has a special message to women who have had an abortion, and to all people of good faith; we reproduce it here on this occasion:
“I would now like to say a special word to women who have had an abortion. The Church is aware of the many factors which may have influenced your decision, and she does not doubt that in many cases it was a painful and even shattering decision. The wound in your heart may not yet have healed. Certainly what happened was and remains terribly wrong. But do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope. Try rather to understand what happened and face it honestly. If you have not already done so, give yourselves over with humility and trust to repentance. The Father of Mercies is ready to give you His forgiveness and His peace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. You will come to understand that nothing is definitively lost and you will also be able to ask forgiveness from your child, who is now living in the Lord. With the friendly and expert help and advice of other people, and as a result of your own painful experience, you can be among the most eloquent defenders of everyone’s right to life. Through your commitment to life, whether by accepting the birth of other children or by welcoming and caring for those most in need of someone to be close to them, you will become promoters of a new way of looking at human life.” (Pope John Paul II).
May God bless you and your families.
The Family Lifeline - April 03, 2005