“What name have you given your child?” is a question that we hear most commonly during the Sacrament of Baptism. Last fall, Shannon had the privilege of being asked that question during the Blessing of the Child in the Womb service at St. Raphael. Surrounded by other expectant mothers and fathers, Father Phil laid his hands over her and her husband while blessing the life growing inside of her.
Shannon says there is something special about the journey of pregnancy that can draw mothers closer to the Church, specifically to our Holy Mother and, in turn, to Jesus. It happened to her: “So many times during those nine months, I would meditate on how Mary must have felt knowing that God had chosen her for something so miraculous……….I would stand in awe of God, who chose to send us His son as a helpless infant. Helpless and yet the One who would be the ultimate Help for us all.”
You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb. I praise you, because I am wonderfully made; wonderful are your works! My very self you know (Psalm 139:13-14).
Mothers have the opportunity to experience the presence of God during this special time. As she reflects on her experience, Shannon’s words express how awesome the experience was for her: “There is nothing on this earth more pure than an infant in the womb. God has granted to women the privilege and responsibility of bringing life into the word. He is there in every single moment that that new life is being created. Every bone. Every strand of hair. Every beat of the heart. He is present.”
Shannon hopes other mothers will have a similar experience, though she acknowledges a need to be open to God’s grace. She suggests that as mothers “go through this journey, invite Him in, as we should in all aspects of our life. And, as He states over and over again in His word, Do Not Be Afraid. Let the peace of His love wash over you and your family, together with the support of so many others, at the Blessing of the Child in the Womb.”