Today I thought I’d share a beautiful prayer I received in the mail. It’s actually a Novena for Mother’s Day, but I’ve been praying it daily for our Rose and other friends who are expecting. I’ve prayed it with one specific friend in mind, a friend from college whose first baby, born almost a year ago, was stillborn. Today, in His goodness, God gave her and her husband another little boy. He’s healthy and she’s doing well and everyone who knows and loves them are rejoicing with them.
Another friend of mine just had her third, who was diagnosed with Down Syndrome at birth. She is healthy and beautiful, with an amazing head of red hair and r-e-a-l-l-y l-o-n-g eyelashes. She also sleeps 8 hours at a time — as a newborn! I was on the phone with my friend today and heard her little girl cry for the first time — because she was pulling on her own hair and did NOT like the way it felt! My friend and her family are taking such joy in their little gift.
A third friend just found out that her unborn baby boy has some birth defects that can, fortunately, be corrected after he’s born, but the waiting to meet her child and imagining what he’ll suffer in his first few months of life is weighing her down.
I’m sharing these stories to first, ask for prayers for these friends of mine, but also to ask for prayers for all mothers. Life is a gift, and even under normal circumstances, I’m inclined to think often of something St. Gianna Molla wrote to her husband: “Dear Pietro, I never could have imagined how much one suffers as a mother!” I believe she wrote this after their little son was up frequently one night with a bellyache. I was just there myself last night with our Lucky Duck. Maybe one of you needs it today, maybe you know of someone who needs it, but know that I remember all of you McSisters, and of course our dear Mimi, as I say this prayer:
Most Gracious Heavenly Father, We thank you for our mothers to whom you have entrusted the care of every precious human life. Grant that every woman my come to understand the full meaning of that blessing. Watch over every mother who is with child. Grant her love for her unborn baby. Give her courage in times of fear, understanding in times of doubt, and hope in times of trouble. Grant her joy in the birth of her child. We beseech you to send Your Holy Spirit, the Comforter, to all mothers who sorrow for children that have died. Help grieving mothers to rely on your tender mercy and fatherly love for all your children. We ask your blessing on all those to whom you have entrusted motherhood. May they ever follow the example of Mary, mother of Our Lord Jesus, and imitate her fidelity, her humility, and her self-giving love. We ask this through your beloved son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen