Finding Calcutta: What Mother Teresa Taught Me About Meaningful Work and Service by Mary Poplin

Finding Calcutta: What Mother Teresa Taught Me About Meaningful Work and Service by Mary Poplin

Author:Mary Poplin
Language: eng
Format: epub
Published: 2011-01-25T16:28:00+00:00

23

Fighting Abortion with Adoption

THE CHILDREN'S CENTERS RUN BY the Missionaries of Charity take in unwanted children and match them with adoptive parents. Mother Teresa said they fought abortion by adoption. Every life, including the unborn, was sacred to her. She adamantly opposed abortion and begged people to give her unwanted infants and she would take care of them. In the United States alone, approximately 4,000 abortions occur each day, and now professionals are discovering the potential physical and psychological consequences to the mother.'

I know this reality personally as I had two abortions in my twenties. When I began to follow Christ, I grew deeply remorseful. I know there have been problems in my body, soul and spirit that directly relate to those decisions. For a couple of years after my conversion to Christianity, I repented over and over, unsure whether God could really forgive me for what I now knew as grievous sin. One day at a monastery during a retreat on healing the family tree, Father Sam assigned us to write on a piece of paper the things we needed to repent of and the people we were committing to forgive. We would burn the paper after an evening service as a prayer, an oblation to God.

At the head of my list were my two abortions. I put it in my pocket and began to walk along the Pecos River that runs by the monastery. All at once I heard a male voice in my spirit clearly say, "Who are you not to forgive someone I have forgiven?" I stopped, stunned and confused by the question that had appeared in my spirit. Not understanding, I walked further and the same question came again. I looked at my list and started forward when the voice occurred yet again. Then I stopped and said aloud, "Lord, who have I not forgiven?" Into my spirit the Lord spoke, "I forgave you the first time you asked me. I do not want you to ask me again."

I had learned it is necessary to confess in order to be forgiven; but I had not yet learned how critical it is to intentionally receive his free gift of forgiveness. My pride was waiting until I was satisfied that I had worked hard enough to deserve this free gift from God. I was assigning myself my own endless acts of penancerepeating rituals of naming my children, confessing the same sin over and over, thinking I needed to remain remorseful, and expecting punishment. Once we are forgiven, God calls us to leave the past behind and press on toward our calling. Not doing so is the work of evil trying to block our destiny.

Many people talk about the need to forgive ourselves, but that is not what the Lord was saying to me. I believe working to forgive ourselves is no different than working to receive his forgiveness. I do not find any evidence of the need to forgive ourselves in the Bible. I am certain the Lord was pointing out my pride.



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