conversion & mercy after abortion

The March for Life is usually on January 22, the anniversary of Roe v Wade.  This year, due to the inauguration, it was moved to today, January 25.

During Father’s homily at Mass today, I realized how fitting it was that the March was today, the day we celebrate the Solemnity of the Conversion of St Paul.

St Paul is the only saint whose conversion we celebrate, even though every saint has a conversion.  But his conversion is perhaps the biggest of them all — to go from seeking the death of Christians to the greatest preacher of the Faith after a single roadside vision is a pretty great leap.  The story is told repeatedly in the book of Acts, and like every passage of Scripture, we can meditate and reflect on it again and again and never exhaust the riches of the story.

But what does that have to do with the March for Life?

One of the most important things we have to remember as champions for the prolife cause is that behind every abortion is a woman and a man who are hurting, whether they know it or not.  Each mother and father have a story that lead them to that act and each have a future after that act.

The answer to ending abortion is not a political one — it’s a personal one.  It’s not a change of law — it’s a change of heart.

Before the road to Damascus, Paul believed he was doing what was right.  He didn’t witness and approve of the stoning of Stephen because he was bloodthirsty, but because he thought that was the answer.

How many men and women choose abortion because they believe it is the right choice?  They don’t seek the death of their child, they seek answers.  They seek to set their world back on course.  But abortion only causes more destruction.

Saul did not believe what he was doing was wrong — but that didn’t change the fact that it was.  So as he was on his way to Damascus, Jesus Christ came to him.  He didn’t come to him as a judge with accusations.  He came to him as a Savior with a question — why are you persecuting Me?

Jesus didn’t give Saul a long list of things he had done wrong.  He didn’t lecture him.  He didn’t berate him.  He didn’t even argue with him.

He came to Saul with mercy and compassion.

But that isn’t the end of the story.  Saul had to accept Jesus.  He not only had to admit what he was doing was wrong, he had to accept the mercy and forgiveness that Jesus was offering him.  Often that can be the hardest part of our conversion.

Jesus is waiting for those men and women who are hurting after abortion.  He is waiting to show them what they have done … but ultimately, He is waiting to show them mercy and compassion.

And so must we.


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