Planned Parenthood Videos: Lord, Have Mercy
Abortion's really been on a lot of minds these past few weeks as the Center for Medical Progress, founded by David Daleiden, releases video after video of Planned Parenthood staffers and members of partnering organizations talking about their particular form of business. The footage has been stunning, often stomach-churning, and incredibly disturbing, giving us all a look into the heart of the abortion industry.
As many pro-lifers have long known, that industry traffics in organs, drawing in substantial sums of money from companies who provide "fetal tissue" to researchers and organizations. Not only does Planned Parenthood get paid for the abortion — they also often get paid for the body of the victim. As former Planned Parenthood clinic supervisor Abby Johnson has shared, Planned Parenthood staffers seek to have all the women passing through their doors for an abortion sign consent forms, agreeing to donate the bodily remains of their unborn child to "research."
As the videos have made plain, those bodily remains are not a clump of cells, but discrete organs: liver; brain; heart. Companies seek the limbs of the children, the skulls, the stem cells and the bones.
It should be abundantly clear by now: In the name of science, of choice, of personal autonomy, of "sexual liberation," we are sacrificing generations yet unborn, and now, never to be born. The enemy of humanity has played an incredibly effective trick on us all, and the results are staggeringly grotesque.
So what do we do?
Pope Francis has indicated the way forward. In a letter to Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization, he announced, "The forgiveness of God cannot be denied to one who has repented, especially when that person approaches the Sacrament of Confession with a sincere heart in order to obtain reconciliation with the Father. For this reason too, I have decided, notwithstanding anything to the contrary, to concede to all priests for the Jubilee Year the discretion to absolve of the sin of abortion those who have procured it and who, with contrite heart, seek forgiveness for it."
Normally, a priest must receive permission from their bishop to absolve a person of the sin of procuring an abortion, and many bishops have granted to their priests a blanket permission to do so. Now, because of the Holy Father's decision, during the Jubilee Year of Mercy, all priests all throughout the world will be able to absolve people of the sin of procuring an abortion.
Such a gesture of mercy follows the example of St. John Paul II, who wrote in Evangelium Vitae:
"I would like to say a special word to women who have had an abortion. The Church is aware of the many factors which may have influenced your decision, and she does not doubt that in many cases it was a painful and even shattering decision. The wound in your heart may not yet have healed. Certainly what happened was and remains terribly wrong. But do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope. Try rather to understand what happened and face it honestly.
"If you have not already done so, give yourselves over with humility and trust to repentance. The Father of mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness and his peace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. You will come to understand that nothing is definitely lost and you will also be able to ask forgiveness from your child, who is now living in the Lord" (99).
There is forgiveness and mercy for those who have sought an abortion and those who have provided one. There is forgiveness and mercy available for those who have procured the body parts of the unborn and for those who have purchased them. There is forgiveness available for even the most grotesque, the most grievous of sins, for Christ submitted himself to one of the most grievous deaths of all in order to save us all.
Now, some people might wonder, "But surely, some sins are so heinous, so awful, that they must put us outside the reach of God's mercy! How could he forgive someone who does that?" But we are assured by the long tradition of the Church that the only unforgivable sin is to persist in despairing of the mercy of God. Jesus told St. Faustina:
The greater the sinner, the greater the right he has to My mercy (Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, 723).
I am Love and Mercy itself. When a soul approaches Me with trust, I fill it with such an abundance of graces that it cannot contain them within itself, but radiates them to other souls (1074).
I never reject a contrite heart (1485).
The graces of My mercy are drawn by means of one vessel only, and that is — trust. The more a soul trusts, the more it will receive (1578).
Sooner would heaven and earth turn into nothingness than would My mercy not embrace a trusting soul (1777).
God knows all, sees all, and stands outside of time — he knows the sins we have committed, are committing, and will commit. He knew in the Garden of Gethsemane — the mystics have said that Christ's great suffering in the Garden the night before he was killed came from seeing the enormity of the sins of the world. He saw, and chose to go ahead and offer himself for us all anyway. How great is his love!
Saint Paul tells us, "I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Rom 8:38-39) We continue to exist because God remembers us with love — so long, then, as you still draw breath, there is forgiveness. There can be repentance.
We must remember that, whether we are guilty of that sin or if we are trying to combat that sin, we serve the God who is love and mercy. We are to be the face of mercy in the world, to make Jesus present to all those around us, whether they be sinner, saint, or Joe Schmoe; whether they be family, friend, or enemy; whether they sin mildly, sin not at all, or sell parts of unborn children.
So let us pray and fast, asking for the conversion of those making money off the backs (and hearts, livers, and brains) of the unborn, and offering reparation for the sins of our brothers and sisters in Adam. Let us work to spread the truth and live charity, creating a culture of life and forming a civilization of love. Let us use the Divine Mercy devotions in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world; to beg mercy on us and on the whole world — even on, especially on, all who work for Planned Parenthood and other such organizations.