last night we attended a Christmas concert given by the local chamber singers and a children's choir. there were plates full of brownies, platters of cookies, warm cups of coffee and children running all around. for some of us in our homeschool group it was a chance to catch up on those we haven't seen in a while. however, there is a bit of an underlying sadness to this concert because what it really was is a fundraiser for the Rachel's Vineyard ministry.
you can read about RV here if you are interested. but i just wanted to briefly share with you a bit about their mission, which is to help women who have been terribly wounded by abortion.
they hold retreats once a year that give the women a chance to reconcile themselves to their God. some of them haven't been to confession in years, others are not even Catholic, but many still need the benefits from the healing power of the mass and the sacraments to deliver them from the overwhelming guilt that becomes a part of their daily lives. one of the retreatants, a woman who had three abortions in her early twenties and who is much older now, spoke for a while about how the retreat helped her deal with the burden of having lost her babies. she wrote them a poem and one line that really stood out to me and gave me chills was this one:
"my womb became your tomb.........."
and with tears in my eyes i thought to myself how incredibly hard it must be for a woman, who has been tricked by the enemy to do something so contrary to her nature.
the nature of woman- EVA, eve, is supposed to give life, through cooperation with the Creator.
but woman, who has been given the power to do something which not even man nor the angels can do, because of sin and pride, disobedience and selfishness she does what is convenient.
she does something so horribly contrary to the will of the Father, the Creator.
but in HIS goodness and MERCY we are all given a second chance:
AVE-a new creation. through her yes, GOD sends to us THE ONE who will truly give us LIFE.
a womb free from sin and corruption. a woman, who would, when she kissed her Child, kissed the very FACE OF GOD. a woman who would teach us that you can raise a child (or children) with very little, yet still have everything. a woman who would teach us that there is glory and dignity in all of the washing, cooking and teaching, if done for GOD. she LITERALLY did them for GOD made man, while we can figuratively do these same things for Him.
today i am very humbly reminded of all the ways in my own life that i do things which are contrary to the will of the Father. no, i have never had an abortion. i could never bring myself to do it. but there are plenty of other areas in my life where i fall short and do not measure up to what i was created to do. but i do know that with HIS grace i can at least keep trying.
and so as i hurriedly rush through these next few weeks, because i have not done any Christmas shopping yet, i want to recall the REAL reason behind what i am doing here on this earth, not just during my advent journey to Christmas, but always.
i know that the woman, who gave her testimony last night will be on my mind because unlike me, who has 4 children to make Christmas so much busier and brighter, she might be lonely.
but i want her and all the women like her who have lost their children to abortion, to know that there is still that Child in the manger. that Child WHO is MERCY and FORGIVENESS: He is waiting there with His arms outstretched. but this time they are not bloody and rent. they are chubby and soft. His breath is sweet, His breathing steady. He has bits of hay in His hair and He probably smiles when He is sleeping, His little mouth twitching as He dreams of the angels that surround Him where He lay. and right beside Him is His mother, who is not selfish like i am, for she is willing to share Him with us, if we only dare to get close enough. so please, dare to get close. go to Him in this state because the next time you meet Him, He just might not be so vulnerable, for Christmas truly is the time for mercy............
"O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee....."