Friday, December 12, 2008
Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Pro-Life Movement
Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas and also of the unborn. The pro-life movement has taken her as its own patroness for this latter reason.
I have no wish to delve into the politics of the pro-life movement here. To do so would be to duplicate the content of countless other blogs, but would do nothing to advance the cause. My fellow blogger Kyle Cupp, who has written extensively about pro-life politics from surprising and provocative angles befitting his background as a philosopher, is a good place to go for commentary that advances the dialogue toward the ideal state of healing.
All I have is my witness as a penitent post-abortive woman. This witness has been condemned by some commenters on this blog, who have suggested that, because I continue to speak of and to mourn my sin in spite of having had much else restored to me, I provide a destructive example to other post-abortive women. Although I do not know these commenters personally, I do know this: they are not post-abortive. And they do not read blogs written by other post-abortive women. If they did, they might find this one downright cheerful in comparison.
As my beloved Father Hermann Cohen, a fellow penitent and a great devotee of the Blessed Virgin, once said in a sermon, "We have been nailed as signposts before the Gates of Hell, warning others, 'Do not go this way!'"
My prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe today is that she might move the hearts of the virtuous members of the pro-life movement to accept and embrace the fervent witness and participation of women like me. For there are many of us in the movement, including many who are not open about their penitence and its cause. Their reticence is the result of the reality that many others in the movement -- like many faithful Catholics, sad to say -- have an attitude toward penitence not unlike that of the Prodigal's older brother. It would do us all well to ponder the great mystery inherent in the fact that God forgives even great sin, and remembers it no more. Moreover, He rejoices more over the return of the penitent than over those who have no need for forgiveness.
I suspect that women like me could be the future of the pro-life movement, especially as the hearts of so many of our fellow citizens become more and more complacent about the sanctity of life. Indeed, it's not impossible that penitent post-abortive women could even in some way revitalize the Catholic Church in America.
H/T for the quote from Father Hermann: Fallen Sparrow