On Childbirth and Prayer

On Childbirth and Prayer

I’ve long felt there is a need for good writing about the spirituality of pregnancy and childbirth. There doesn’t seem to be much out there on the subject—at least not from a Catholic perspective—and it seems to me that there is much that could be written. A fertile field waiting to be tilled, if you’ll excuse the double-entendre.

I’ve tried to put down some of my thoughts about my own birth experiences, but as I’ve had c-sections, I can’t speak much about the experience of labor. And mine thoughts have been mostly impressionistic notes rather than a formal essay really digging into the meat of the subject.

Recently I found (but I no longer remember where I saw it linked) this excellent essay on childbirth and the spiritual life: A Fiery Gift by Susan Windley-Daoust. This piece helps to fill the gap. Beautifully.

Birth is the rock of motherhood. It does not easily allow diversions; it is more glorious and messy, more trying and transformative than a person might suspect. Basically, it is a lot like prayer.

It’s thoughtful and prayerful… full of good meat to chew on:

But just as John Paul II reflected upon sexual union in his �theology of the body� as a sign pointing toward the ultimate union of God with the human being, a medically uncomplicated �good birth� points toward how all souls, pregnant with the Holy Spirit, are transformed by cooperating with the Spirit, letting God make all things new. And while every moment may not be what you wished for, even in that, it resembles the soul�s journey to God.

Read the entire essay here at America Magazine.

Now if anyone can point me to something similar on the spirituality of morning sickness….

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