This week we draw attention to the National March for Life on Friday, January 22, 2016. Please pray for an end to abortion and for protection and safety for all those who march. Our series began Tuesday with Sr. Clare’s advice on 5 Ways to Get into the March for Life Spirit. Wednesday’s post told the story of Charmed by Life at Ten Weeks. Today we hear about adopting holy hours for the intentions of those healing from an abortion.
By: Sarah LaPierre, Guest Contributor
A few years ago the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops started the 9 Days for Life novena.
Through the prayers of this novena, grace broke through.
A woman who had an abortion years ago shared how those prayers helped her to not be “swallowed whole by despair.” Grace broke through.
As you can imagine the pain of losing children to abortion is unbearable. Many women and men turn from and deny the pain. They simply are not able, or do not attempt to address it. It may be years later that a connection is made, perhaps a “Divine Coincidence,” between the abortion and the resulting painful consequences of that decision. But will grace break through for him or her? Will they turn back and make the connection so that they may seek the healing and forgiveness they need?
The March for Life is a time of year that may trigger past memories of a decision made long ago. Whether it’s the information on your Facebook newsfeed or perhaps images of an unborn baby’s development seen for the very first time; the veil of truth is lifted for many.
This particular woman wrote about such an instance, when painful memories seemed to rise up out of nowhere.
“Memories I thought I had drown[ed] bubbled up despite mentally wrestling with myself for years to un-see them .…I never wanted an abortion.”
The battle for freedom, healing and restoration in Christ is real and palpable. The devil not only sells but encourages the lie that abortion is no big deal. Then afterwards, he is the first in line to condemn and accuse. He stealthily sends messages of despair: “God will never forgive you. You don’t deserve mercy or healing.” The unrepentant sin shackles the soul, and instills fear to keep it far from the merciful Father’s reconciliation and embrace.
For this woman, on that day, in that particular moment, grace broke through to begin the healing process. She had a feeling,
“Like a hundred people praying for me right at that exact moment.”
What if more women and men who have been involved in abortion could have that same experience? To feel the prayers of a hundred people – so that grace can break through?
What if a hundred people committed to praying. What if a hundred people attended the Holy Hours. What if a hundred people came together to storm heaven for women and men to receive healing after abortion?
In this New Year, the Year of Mercy, make a commitment to prayer. Will you, through prayer, make a way for grace to break through?
The Office for Family Life started Holy Hours to build that bridge to grace. These Holy Hours are held on the second Tuesday of every month and echo Bishop Loverde’s video message for those who’ve had abortions, “come back to God who is love and mercy.”
The intention for these intercessory Holy Hours is based on Isaiah 61 to breach the gap and plead before the throne of grace for the Father, to break the bonds of abortion, to set the captives free and to restore all in Christ.
Last October, young adults committed to coming to our Holy Hour. They shared invitations about the evening with their friends, showed up flash mob style from across the diocese, and supported the ministry. They sacrificed their time to make a pilgrimage and intercede for their sisters and brothers in need of forgiveness and healing.
What about you? Can you make a commitment to prayer – for grace to break through?
In this Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, parish groups are selecting a month to attend a Holy Hour. This commitment involves not only attending, but inviting friends and parishioners as well. Invite them to pray for the healing of our nation by lifting up prayers of intercession, supplication and reparation (2 Chr 7:14 and Is 58:12 ).
Be an ambassador of grace and reconciliation by committing to attending the monthly Holy Hours, either individually or as a parish group, interceding for the silent suffering with secret sorrow of abortion. And grace will break through…
Sarah La Pierre is the Director of Project Gabriel and Project Rachel in the Diocese of Arlington.
Visit Project Rachel and Help after Abortion to find out more about post abortion healing.