Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Fruits of Bringing Up Unpleasant Topics Directly but Carefully

Many of my fellow priests make the claim that you really can't preach about abortion because so many women have had abortions that you run the risk of really hurting the case you want to make. I can accept that observation to a point: railing without compassion for those upon whom abortion is afflicted certainly does that. However, that is not what I do.

Instead I tend to split the homily in two: part one focuses outrage at the society who supports abortion, part two focuses upon those who are harmed by abortion to seek healing and help. In other words, the issue is simple but how it affects people isn't.

Now, for those naysayers who will still disagree I offer this email from someone who has heard this message of mine before. This person writes:

"It reminded me of when I was told by my husband that he wanted me to abort my pregnancy. When I got pregnant, my husband did not want any children. Since I had been told it would be medically impossible for me to have children, my husband was very happy. However, through one of God's miracles, I did become pregnant. When I told Larry I was pregnant, he immediately told me that I was going to have an abortion, and his parents told me the same thing. Of course, I told him I was NOT, so he said he would leave me if I had the baby, which he did. I was married, had both an undergraduate
degree and a masters degree, and a good job. So it was not the same decision that many women face. Not to say it was not a scary thought knowing I would probably have to raise my child by myself, I never even considered having an abortion. However, I know it is a difficult decision for many women who are married and their husbands do not want any more children. I appreciated your pointing out that not all abortions are simply from young unmarried women. My heart goes out to those women who are married like I was, but who unlike me, had to follow their husbands wishes for whatever reason. I simply could not imagine not having my child because she has been such a blessing in my life. She has been a true gift from God. So I just wanted to tell you that I thought your sermon Sunday was a very good. I am glad the church has a group like the Rachel group [Rachel's Vineyard] who helps women and men through the aftermath of a
poor decision to abort an unborn child."

To tell the truth about abortion, that abortion resulting in death of a physicial, psychological and spiritual nature, and to tell the whole truth, that the Church doesn't abandon those who seek Christ and want to be healed, is the key to changing hearts and minds concerning abortion.

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