I was a fallen Catholic at the age of thirty. I was seeking God in all the wrong places. I was empty and devoid of joy, partying and escaping my deep emptiness in bars and in the consumption and abuse of alcohol. It was during that time that a friend of mine got pregnant. She knew that the father would have nothing to do with the baby and she could not afford to be a single mother. She made a very humble income teaching, as did. We were colleagues, both teachers at a prestigious university in Massachusetts. She matter-of-factly said she would get an abortion. I don't even know how far along she was.
At the time, and I say this with such utter heartache as a conscious, devout Catholic, I did not even blink an eye. I said, “Okay, I'll drive you there.” I don't recall why I stayed in the car. I did not even go into the clinic with her. I remember that afterward she walked out, got in the car, and said she didn't feel well, that she just wanted to lie down. So I dropped her off at her apartment. She did not really seem like she wanted me to stay. She wanted to rest and be alone, so I left. We never talked about her abortion again. I recall now how cold-hearted I was about the entire event. I treated it, and she did as well, like she just went to the doctor to be treated for a cold or a migraine.
That day haunts me as I am devoted now to my faith, to my God, to my heavenly Mother Mary, and to my husband and four beautiful children. How could I stray so far away from God? How did I become so lost and soulless and selfish and vacant? After I met my husband at age thirty-one, he very slowly (it's taken ten long years) led me back to my Catholic faith, back to receiving the Sacraments, and back to God and the arms of Mary. I have since confessed my sin. My priest, God love him, very gently told me that in the eyes of the Church, my sin was as grave as if I had committed abortion myself. I never knew that. Even as a revert to the faith and with a lot of study to better understand the faith I was born into, I had not grasped the full extent of what I had done until my beloved priest very gently informed me of the Church's stance on anyone who helps someone commit abortion. So while I know in my heart that God has forgiven me and the priest spoke those precious words, that my sins have been absolved, I still cry about it. I have not been able to forgive myself for what I have done, and that's probably even worse because God has forgiven me so I should be able to forgive myself.