Three years ago, in NYC for a couple of weeks, I attended Sunday Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Before dismissing us, the priest announced that the Sisters of Life had set up a little booth there that day. In the twenty-plus years that I had carried my secret and my shame, it was the first I’d heard of any group that actually addressed the wound of the mother; that treated the woman who’d aborted neither as a pariah, nor as a potential poster child for the pro-life movement. I hung around the fringes for awhile and I can’t describe the light these nuns threw off: anything but hokey, anything but contrived, anything but patronizing, anything but with an ulterior motive, anything but weird.
Finally I worked up the courage to approach one of them, a beautiful woman in her late twenties with a solid, welcoming face that seemed to invite in the whole world. “Thank you for the work you do,” I said. “I’ve had three”…and started weeping. “I’m sure there’s help for you there,” the sister said when I explained that I lived in L.A.
I didn’t seek help for many more months. But it was the face of that young nun–healthy, wholesome, sane, compassionate, joyful–I really have to thank here. Love is how you treat those who have nothing to give. I had nothing to give her. And she gave me back my life.
|photo found at the black cordelias: more about the SOL there|
|Sister Maria Kateri (L) and Sister Catherine Marie from Sisters of Life ride their bikes in Toronto, February 2010.photo: Holy Post, from an article by Charles Lewis, April 10, 2011|