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“Ask a Priest: Could Aborted Babies Be Angry?”
Q: I know someone who is a Roman Catholic but who is afraid of eternal life because she is worried that her aborted children will be waiting for her and be very angry with her. Is this situation possible? Is being afraid of eternal life a mortal sin? – H.
Answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC
A: It’s a very sad situation that you cite. It sounds as though this poor woman is struggling terribly with her past. My heart goes out to her.
Now, when you mention eternal life, I’m assuming that you mean heaven.
Anyone who makes it to heaven will, by definition, be totally purified.
Hence there is no need for fear of heaven. There will be no anger in heaven, no one to fear.
It would be good that this woman who had the abortions be encouraged to seek God’s mercy in the sacrament of confession if she hasn’t done so yet.
If she has already gone to confession for these sins, the problem might be that she hasn’t quite forgiven herself.
If that is the case, you might want to encourage her to attend a Rachel’s Vineyard retreat or something similar. It’s possible that your acquaintance might need therapy, too.
She has reason to hope that her babies are with Our Lord and that they hold no grudges against her.
To come back to your second question: Fear of eternal life seems to indicate a shaky sense of hope or a weak understanding of heaven. It also smacks of a temptation from the devil, who tries to sow seeds of despair.
Rather than bring focus on the question of mortal sin here, it would be better to focus on what could be done to help this woman experience divine mercy.
She needs to know that in eternal life Our Lord “will wipe every tear from their eyes” (Revelation 21:4).
You might want to intensify your prayers for her. Count on mine.
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