Divine Mercy in My Soul
by Theresa Bonopartis
"We are to show to those in need His goodness to ourselves. . . ."
This phrase at Mass speaks to my heart, reminding me of the despair, the grief, the pain of abortion from which Christ delivered me. It reminds me also of my duty to give hope to those still suffering, to help point the way to a place of shelter and peace in the heart of Jesus. And so, I relate my experience–unique and personal, but not unlike the stories of many other women. But this story is not, finally, about me. It’s about our good and merciful God . . . always there, wanting to forgive us and make us whole again.
At 18 I honestly believed I was the only one not having sex. I gave in to peer pressure and slept with someone I was seeing occasionally. I remember vividly the day I phoned the doctor for my test results and learned I was pregnant. After months of denial, I was nearly four months pregnant, so I knew the answer long before the word “positive” was uttered. I was overwhelmed by a range a feelings: happiness at the thought of a child growing within me, but also fear of telling my parents–the reason I had “denied” it for so long.
I immediately told the father of the child, and we decided to get married. Although we planned to tell our parents together, I blurted the truth to my mother and father. Their reaction took me by surprise. Shocked, angry and disappointed, they told me to leave the house and forget that I was their daughter. In retrospect, their reaction was understandable. They believed that premarital sex was wrong and thought it would be a disgrace to have a child out of wedlock. At least, I thought, my parents were practicing Catholics and would never ask me to abort my child. I left the house with no job, no money, no home and nowhere to turn, feeling utterly abandoned and alone. It wasn’t long before the baby’s father and I broke up. Still, I was certain I would not get an abortion. I wanted my child.