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A visualization that can be very helpful for anyone who has had an abortion can take something of this form: Choose a name for the baby. See yourself holding the child in your arms and speak to it by name. Feel the love that you had to deny when you did what you felt you needed to do. Allow your heart that you closed back there to open out in love. Let your tears to flow freely. Tell the child the circumstances that you found yourself in back then and how difficult the decision was not to be able to welcome the child into the world. Express your sorrow and ask the child’s forgiveness. Receive that forgiveness as a gift that is freely given but with the request that you must also forgive yourself. In fact it is only by forgiving yourself and living your life to the full that you will honor your child. When you found life difficult, and thought God was punishing you, let go of that belief and recognize that you were punishing yourself. A practical way of making restitution might be to sponsor a child in a third world country and provide for that child’s education thereby giving him/her a chance they would not otherwise have.

Fr Jim Cogley


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