SCROLL DOWN FOR FURTHER NOTICE
24 August 2014, The Compassionate Christ
Did you hear this week about the lady who gave up her baby son for adoption and, searching for him twenty-odd years later, found his name among those who had died in the Lockerby air disaster? The poor, poor woman!
We can lose people from our life and still rejoice, with a sad kind of rejoicing to be sure, in the knowledge that somewhere someone is enjoying the company we have lost. I feel deeply for young parents who, for whatever reason, have to give up their child for adoption. Their imagination must work overtime as birthday follows birthday and Christmas follows Christmas. Now she is three; now, eight; now, eleven, starting high school? Sixteen, is she doing GCSEs? Has she a boyfriend yet? Now, twenty. Is she married? Has she children of her own by now….?
It is similar, but much worse, for mothers who have succumbed to having an abortion. For these mothers it is not what the child may be doing now but what the child would have been doing now….If only…
There are so many hidden heart-aches that people carry about within them as they try to put on a smile and a brave face , striving to forget but not able to. A pain like this is worse than any physical pain. How our hearts would go out to such people, if we only knew! How we would seek to comfort them, if we only knew!
And how different life would be for these people if they only knew how much the Heart of Christ does goes out to them, how much He yearns to comfort them. It was, after all, out of sheer compassion that He came into our world as one among us, as one who could and did experience our pain, like us in all things but sin. He came to save us, to free us from the darkness we seem so expert at wrapping around ourselves; he came to lead us into his own wonderful light. He came to set us free from anxiety and distress.
The hidden pains of the people of Christ’s day did not escape Him. His heart went out to them immediately. He showed himself utterly compassionate towards all who were suffering, no matter the cause of that suffering, be it from sin, from some foolishness in the past, or from some physical or mental disability. The fact that someone was hurting was enough to turn on the taps of divine compassion in his heart. And, as the scriptures (Heb 13:8) remind us, Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. He doesn’t want us to carry on our backs a ruinous yoke of guilt or regret. He has overcome the world and He wants us to let go and recognise that He is in complete charge.
The mother puts her child up for adoption. It leaves her care but it doesn’t leave his care, it cannot wriggle out of the loving arms of Christ. In Christ’s compassionate providence, the adoption creates an entirely new life-space for the child, with utterly different possibilities lying before him. Only God knows how precision-designed for the child’s unique development these new circumstances are. While nothing will ever take away the wondering of the natural mother about her child, faith in Christ will take away the anxiety and distress and inject a measure of joyful hope as she comes to realise that God’s eternal and merciful plan is working itself out in her offspring’s life.
Where is Christ’s compassion in the case of a mother who goes ahead with an abortion and repents of it for the rest of her life? While the destruction of a human life, made in the image and likeness of God, can never be right or ever sanctioned by God, it doesn’t mean that Christ washes his hands of the mother, as Pontius Pilate did of Him. Christ grieves for that mother beset with remorse for what she has done or allowed to be done. But his compassion does not end there.
We can never have the last say with God, never outdo him in the end. We can put a stop to the physical life of a human being easily enough, but we are powerless to do more. Our destroying hand cannot remotely reach that immortal life that God created at the moment of conception, that unique person destined by God to live forever. Nothing or nobody can put an end to that.
Let the grieving mother recognise that there is just another star in the heavens, that her aborted child now lives in the glory of God with no personal sin on its soul to diminish its utter joy in the presence of the Lord. Let her be glad that she has a saint in her family. Let her be aware that from his place in heaven he watches her, prays for her, gives thanks to God that she initially cooperated with Him in his creation of this unique human being which is himself.
And the lady we spoke of who only finds her son on the memorial stone at Lockerby. What about her? What about all of us who lose the people we love? Ah, see how easy it is to fall into the terminology of our godless society! I said spontaneously who lose the people we love. But we do not lose them; just find ourselves separated from them for a brief period of time. Our society thinks otherwise. We can see its godlessness even in what apparently seems good. Think of the millions of pounds we spend on the development of cancer drugs that will allow us a further three months of low quality life. It reveals society’s general consensus that we must hang on to this life at all costs for after it there is nothing. But we know better. The lady who lost her son when he was adopted and lost him again in the Lockerby disaster will indeed find him again, embrace him again, enjoy his love again, and never ever again be separated from him. Such is the victory and power of Christ’s Cross; such is his mercy and compassion!
Let not your heart be troubled nor let it be afraid.
God bless you, Fr Antony