I trust you and your loved ones are having a blessed Easter season.
And quite an Easter season, it has been… and continues to be.
Constraints have been placed on our movements. We all need to stand two meters apart from one another to have a simple conversation. Many have lost their jobs. Most of us have been restrained by stay-at-home orders.
Yet a consolation in all of this is that the most important movement goes unhindered - our walk with Our Redeemer and his Blessed Mother.
This movement takes on an additional significance in the month of May. Yes, this month is a time to honour our earthly mothers, as it is also a time to honour our Heavenly Mother.
The Holy Father Pope Francis has shown us the way by introducing two prayers for this purpose, asking that we add these in combination with our recitation of the Holy Rosary. Also, the bishops’ conferences in both Canada and the U.S. have likewise honoured the Mother of Our Lord by inviting all bishops of both countries to reconsecrate their dioceses to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church.
Deservingly she is our mother. Selflessly she gave of herself from the moment she accepted to take on the role of being His mother, enduring many sorrows along the way – Simeon’s prophesy, the flight into Egypt, the three-day separation, His passion and death on the cross, the pieta, and His entombment.
Today our prayers are very much needed to encourage all mothers to be similarly disposed to their children and to their families.***This latter disposition needs to be emphasized as the following example shows.
“The Anxiety about aborting alone in these pandemic times.”
The above headline appeared in a web story covering the experience of three women bemoaning their fate of not being permitted to abort their children with the reassuring presence of someone dear to them.
The current social conditions have led the abortion facilities, whether public or private, to limit access solely to those using their services to maintain a certain degree of hygiene.
“I have an appointment tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. Going in alone and having to do the surgery alone is quite worrisome. I’m very anxious, I’m unable to sleep at night. It plays in my head, wondering how it will turn out,” said one woman.
Another woman, having experienced a previous abortion while being accompanied, immediately picked up on the different atmosphere in the waiting room. “There was some sadness. Having an abortion is an emotional experience, we experience trauma every time. It certainly helps having someone there with you.”
Finally, a third shared that “it’s not fun to go there alone. My partner, he has to wait in the car. He can’t go into the clinic. I don’t know what to expect. It’s the unknown. I have a lot of anxiety.”
These candid statements reveal something grave. Their sensitivity does not transcend their personal circumstances, to include the tragic fate of their unborn child.
Why this dissonance in these women and in a society that has abstracted the life of the unborn?
The story concludes in pretty much the same way it began, misplacing the real tragedy of their experience. “We started talking among ourselves. There was a kind of solidarity that came out that, to be all women together. In the recovery room we also helped each other, we said to ourselves: “it’s normal for you to feel like that.” It’s reassuring to connect with each other.”
Two portraits of motherhood. On the one hand, the blessed mother who with her fiat at the annunciation accompanies her son in His journey of redemption, embracing moments of joy and suffering. On the other, these women and our society who chose a superficial path and sense of malaise to cover their sensitivity to the real tragedy and the real roots of their turmoil - the destruction of their unborn child.
May the culture of abundant life established by Our Lord find root in civil society.