Saint Raphael’s Respect Life ministry has been encouraging the practice of Spiritual Adoption for a few years now. Again this year, many St. Raphael parishioners pledged to pray asking the Holy Family to intercede for unborn babies in danger of being aborted. The short prayer, (click on the prayer card) was written by Archbishop Fulton Sheen. Participants pray daily for a child during the nine months of his or her life in the womb. Naming the child they are praying for helps to make a connection with the baby, unknown to them personally. God knows who the child is.
Ken Sweet chose to make his prayer even more personal: “When I selected my spiritual adoption name this year, I named him after my grandson Abe in thanksgiving for the grace of having grandchildren. Abe is in Colorado and I make a visit once a year. By praying using his name, he is also brought into my thoughts every day.”
Ken’s experience has revealed to him how spiritual adoption is a work of mercy on many levels. The act of praying for the safety of children in the womb and for their parents to have courage and be given wise counsel and support is following Jesus’ command to “love one another as I love you”(John 15:12.). In addition, Ken says the practice can help us become better disciples. He admits that, like many of us, he struggles with bearing wrongs patiently. “Praying for 38 weeks can help with patience,” he says. His involvement has given him a sense of awe for God’s forgiveness for all of us. Also,“It helps me develop, in a small way, the virtue of daily prayer.”
Ken realizes, too, that providing information and awareness on any subject that will bring us closer to God is an act of mercy. In the bulletin, “There are updates on your adopted baby’s development and pro-life information. You can even get text messages with updates on your baby’s growth, which can be very instructive.” You may wish to pray along with those who pledged in your own personal prayer time by using the bulletin information as a resource.
Ken notes that spiritual adoption provides a corporal work of mercy for mothers, fathers and babies right here in our local community: “Last October, on the birth date of the parish’s spiritually adopted baby, we collected gifts for our spiritually adopted child. This gift gave reality to Baby James, who I prayed for last year. The gift drive brought in a wide variety of gifts, from baby quilts, to cute bodysuits, to diapers, even a stroller. These donated gifts were given to Birth Choice in Raleigh, a preferred resource for pregnant women.” The Respect Life ministry plans to celebrate this year’s spiritually adopted children on their birth date of October 13, 2018. Parishioners can donate gifts and join in the celebration of life.
St. Raphael Respect Life Ministry info: https://saintraphael.org/social-action/respect-life/
More about Spiritual adoption: http://www.spiritualadoption.org/