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by Sr. Patricia Marie Barnette, RGS, LPC

“The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love…The steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon those who fear him”  Psalm 103:8,17

God’s Mercy! One of God’s greatest gifts! For women and men who are seeking healing after an abortion, many are afraid that God will never forgive them. His forgiveness is available for those who seek it, and God gives mercy and forgiveness generously. Be not afraid! A new life waits for those who hold out their hand and let Jesus touch and heal this deep wound.

God’s Mercy Awaits You: Find Healing After Abortion is a new book authored by Sr. Patricia Marie Barnette that focuses on healing after abortion and is balanced with Catholic teaching and sound psychology. Scripture is used throughout as a comfort and guide. While each person’s journey is unique, there are common elements of healing that are highlighted in the book. Through real life stories, the book reflects 30 years of counseling experience in post-abortion healing. Each chapter ends with reflection questions and tips for friends and family members to discuss and reflect upon.

Relating with God is the first step in healing

Establishing or renewing a relationship with God is the first step in healing, for his love is the healing balm which restores and renews a person’s well-being. Some people bury their pain or numb it through alcohol, drug, or sexual addictions. While others experience intense depression and anxiety which can overtake a person’s peace. Traumatic aspects of abortion may cause people to isolate emotionally from those people they love. Both men and women alike need healing from abortion. Women are the ones who most often ask for help, but men need healing, too. There is a chapter in the book regarding how men deal with the abortion aftermath.

Healing involves a journey through anger and grief

A major part of healing involves examining anger and blocked grief. Opening up these areas of a person’s life helps one to move forward emotionally and to begin to heal broken relationships if possible, or at least to forgive people who were involved in the abortion decision. Forgiveness of others does not necessarily involve contacting people from the past. The most important person to forgive is oneself. Accepting God’s forgiveness, forgiving others and having compassion on oneself opens the gates to peace, joy, and the new life that Jesus promises to each one of us.

A new life in the Son-Shine

What does new life look like? It is like living in a dark house for too long and looking out the window in hopes of one day being in the sunlight. Healing enables a person to walk to the door, open it, and take steps into the Son-Shine of God’s love, leaving behind sorrow, sadness, and bitterness, while journeying to embracing and sharing love.

God’s Mercy Awaits You is helpful for individuals desiring healing for the broken areas of their lives, for family members, pastoral ministers and counselors. For those interested in purchasing the book, you can check it out  here.

People seeking help may also contact the Project Rachel Office in their Catholic Diocese, or individual ministries such as Bethesda-The House of Mercy in Cleveland, Entering Canaan, and local pregnancy care centers. Please remember to pray for all who need healing after abortion! The healing of one person brings new life to the family and community.