Good evening Father,
I am writing to you regarding a deep doubt inside me, for which I still harbour grief, confusion, fear.
When I was about 19 years old (now I am 27) I got pregnant. When I told it to my then-partner, we discussed and he suggested to resort to abortion, as we were both young and unready. I remember feeling a great sorrow (especially when I saw the tiny heart beating on the monitor), but I worked away from home and I did not know how to manage (however, I do not want to justify myself by saying this). I agreed with him and went to find out how this damned practice worked. Then, being less devoted to faith and the word of the Lord, I did not give the right importance to the true seriousness of this action.
Through a counselling I went as far as looking for an appointment for hospitalization in a clinic. But I never entered that clinic and never had a voluntary abortion.
Meanwhile, during a second ultrasound, the gynaecologist told me that the baby, in the second month of the pregnancy, was ectopic and the chances of survival for the fetus were minimal. After a few days, following some pains, the little fetus came out and I lost it. It was a difficult time for me, I was far away from the support of my family and from the faith in God. I remember feeling a lot of regret, yes, but everything was clouded in confusion, a numbness obfuscated me. I admit with much shame that only later I realized the real pain of what was happening.
After this period, one after another, a series of events happened to me, for which I thank the Lord.
At first, I accepted a job offered by chance to me as a children animator. I began to discover that I felt better when I played with them, when I made them smile or motivated them to play as a team. This encouraged me to rethink about the loss of the baby with more awareness and to confess in a sanctuary in… I was very sorry for my initial intention of wanting to abort.
In the following years I had the opportunity to go to a local elementary school where I was surrounded by children who wanted me to teach them English. Finally, my sweet two years old daughter for whom I thank the Lord and I feel fortunate. A fortune and great joy. But here comes the question.
When I agreed to get information on abortion, (even though the abortion was spontaneous) I sinned because I had the intention to abort. Was that intention, even if suffered, already a sin, as it would have been had the action been carried out?
I have been carrying this huge weight for years (which I will gladly accept as punishment). What if the fetus had not been weak? Would I have eventually aborted or not?
I thank the Lord for having given to me the blessing of having children and still being with them (currently especially my daughter), but will he forgive me? Will he forgive that intention to sin?
And also the fact of having understood how serious this thing was only after some time?
1. I apologize for the serious delay with which I reply.
I am even more sorry because you were actually asking for a word of comfort.
Almost eight months later I give it to you.
2. Even if in you there was the intention, or rather, the determination to have an abortion – and this is certainly a mortal sin – nevertheless the Lord has prevented you from doing it.
The execution of the intention aggravates the sin because in fact the determination to commit evil is renewed several times.
3. In our case, a sign of this is the fact that the Church adds excommunication only to those who procure abortion.
If the abortion is not carried out, even if the intention was serious, one does not fall into excommunication.
This suggests that between determination and execution there is a space in which the unpredictable can happen.
It could also happen to you to change at the last moment.
Of course, you did not intend to change.
But you must admit, anything could have happened.
4. As I told you, the Lord did not want you to commit this crime.
If it is already a source of agony to have had the determination to have an abortion, you cannot imagine how you would be now if that terrible event had actually happened.
I repeat: the Lord has prevented you.
And for this you must thank Him eternally.
5. You must have no doubts about the forgiveness that the Church has given you.
Even God has forgiven you, although it is easy to understand how you are unable to forgive yourself.
But finally, what is decisive is God’s forgiveness, not yours.
6. Finally, I want to tell you something: as you know, the Church likes to think that that spontaneously aborted baby is in Heaven.
Ask him for forgiveness for the intention you had towards him.
Have some Masses celebrated for him: not in suffrage of sins because he has not committed any, but so that the Lord may increase his glory in Heaven.
This is the truest love.
So you continue to love him and in the most effective way.
From Heaven it will reward you, waiting for the eternal embrace.
I bless you, I wish you the best and I entrust you to God.