Re: Abs Light
The ABS warning light stays on if there is a fault with the ABS system not when the pads are worn. The front brake pad wear warning light is a seperate light and will generally come on each time the brakes are used as the contact earths against the disc. Therefore it should be going off between applications and will obviously do so when new pads are used. If your brakes are grinding it certainly sounds like you have worn pads (check your discs for scoring as Markos says) but if the ABS light is on, you have another issue. It should still brake ok (assuming pad material) but the ABS system may not function.
Maybe check the lights again. There are three brake warning lights in the bottom righthand quarter of the speedometer. They all use the same symbol, but from the top, the 'empty' one is the front brake wear, the middle one with an exclamation mark shares the handbrake on and low brake/clutch fluid, and the bottom one says ABS and lights (sometimes in conjunction with the middle/handbrake light) when there is an ABS fault.
Hope that helps, best of luck.