Have you had an abortion? Now is the time for healing, forgiveness

The next Rachel's Vineyard Retreat offering the Healing Mercy of Jesus for those suffering the effects of post-abortion trauma is Feb. 26-28 at Nazareth House in Henry.

By Father John Verrier

Pope Francis has invited everyone to take a closer look at God’s Merciful Heart for you and for me. He has focused our attention on this invitation by declaring an Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy 10 years before it would normally happen. The last Jubilee Year was in the year 2000.

Why did Pope Francis do this?  He did this so that you and I would turn our heads and notice that our Heavenly Father, who only wants to bless us, is running to us, through Jesus, with His open arms of mercy and His love!

Father John Verrier

Father John Verrier

God’s message of mercy comes to all people of our time through Jesus’ words to St. Faustina:  “In the Old Covenant, I sent prophets wielding thunderbolts to My people. Today I am sending you with My Mercy to the people of the whole world.  I do not wish to punish aching mankind, but I desire to heal it, pressing it to My Merciful Heart.”

This is real good news; news that you will not find on ABC, CBS, NBC or any other nightly news channel. Pope Francis is asking us to listen and respond to this message of Divine Mercy.

He writes, “Mercy is the very foundation of the Church’s life. All of her pastoral activity should be caught up in the tenderness she makes present to believers; nothing in her preaching and in her witness to the world can be lacking in mercy. The Church’s very credibility is seen in how she shows merciful and compassionate love  . . . .  The time has come for the Church to take up the joyful call to mercy once more. It is time to return to the basics and to bear the weaknesses and struggles of our brothers and sisters. Mercy is the force that reawakens us to new life and instills in us the courage to look to the future with hope.”  (Misercordiae Vultus, 10)

HEALING MINISTRY OF RACHEL’S VINEYARD:

For the past 18 years the Catholic Church has offered a path to the Healing Mercy of Jesus for those who are suffering the effects of Post-Abortion Trauma. This healing ministry is called Rachel’s Vineyard — a retreat for post-abortive women and men. I have been a priest for 20 years now, and have been active in Rachel’s Vineyard for 10 years.

If I could summarize, in one word, the transforming effects of the retreat process on the people who attend it would be “miraculous.” If I could use two words to summarize what I have witnessed I would describe it as “miraculously healing.” And if you asked me why or how it happens, I would say, “It is the pure mercy of Jesus and love from our Father’s heart which is poured into the heart of the retreatant.” It is that simple. It is the deepest desire of God’s heart to love and to heal us, and to live in perfect union with us!

This article is my plea to anyone who has an aching heart because of wounds caused by the sin of abortion. Sin does not have the last word. Although the devil wants us to think that sin does permanent damage to us, God can undo that damage! Satan is a liar. But Jesus is the Truth, and the Way back from sin to healing and wholeness.

So don’t listen to the devil. Listen to the voice of God in your conscience speaking to you now.  Maybe God is calling you, or someone you know, to call and make a reservation for Rachel’s Vineyard this February. Now is the time for healing and forgiveness in this Year of Mercy. It’s a confidential call: (309) 264-1489.

THERE IS NO SIN BEYOND HIS MERCY

At a Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat, the retreat team will serve you and guide you to Jesus. This happens through a series of “Living Scriptures,” which are guided meditations developed by the founder of Rachel’s Vineyard, and through meetings with Jesus in the sacraments. Jesus is also present in the Body of Christ within the Rachel’s Vineyard family. Everyone on retreat can feel safe because everything that happens on the weekend is in the context of strict and absolute confidentiality.

On every Rachel’s Vineyard retreat, God’s mercy is communicated in a unique and personal way to each person through an encounter with Jesus, our Divine Physician and Healer. He asks each retreatant, “What do you want me to do for you?” If you desire to be restored to health in mind, body and spirit; if you want to resume your life refreshed with great joy and hope for your future, then Rachel’s Vineyard is for you!

The Holy Spirit also helps us on retreat to pour out our hearts to the Lord. He helps us to deal with our pain and sorrow, our anger and our guilt, and offer it to God for our forgiveness and healing. Then the Holy Spirit sanctifies us and begins the process of restoring us to true health.

Well, many may say, “Father Verrier, isn’t all this a little bit too good to be true?” And all I can say is, “It sure seems like it, but it is all waiting for you and me with even more to come. God is so good, His Mercy is beyond telling.”

The great lie that the devil is pushing on us is this: “We are no good and we are beyond mercy!”  The truth is, the great truth is, “There is no sin that is beyond His mercy and God delights in the company of you and me!” This is the truth that Rachel’s Vineyard would like to share with those who have believed the devil’s lie for so very long.

Listen to the voice of Jesus say to you, “Come away with me and rest awhile.” Come to the Vineyard Feb. 26-28. You will not be disappointed and the joy that you will discover there is nothing less than Divine Mercy! Please call, (309) 264-1489.

God bless you!

FATHER VERRIER is pastor of St. Joseph Parish, Brimfield, and St. James Parish, Williamsfield.

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