I am blown away. I read some of your entries, (love the “roses of a different color”) Perhaps I can be brave enough to share some of my thoughts now…
I have been reflecting on Christ’s Passion and suffering. (a constant theme in our fallen existance I am afraid.) I was speaking with a friend of mine who is due in April about her having her second baby and she kept praising my “strength” and “bravery” for having our fifth baby at home under the care of a midwife. I remember being embarassed by her insinuating I was somehow brave, seeing as every woman who becomes a mother has to go through childbirth regardless of where or who attends. She was genuinely nervous about going through the birthing process though. Her first child was a schedualed C section so she didn’t experience it the same way I did. I wanted to reassure her and told her that she would know what to do when it was time. She commented on not wanting to feel the pain. My thought was “Who does?” Then that thought led to another. I have shared thoughts with some of my closest friends about suffering and the concept of not merely accepting one’s cross but embracing it, but a piece of my understanding was missing. It was on reflecting on the birth of my daughter, (baby number five) that a question I could not answer in my own heart had been answered finally.
I always wondered how the Fully Human Fully God that our savior is could humble himself, and knowingly accept the sufferings he experienced. The fact He is God is part of that but how could the Humanity in him also be willing?
This is what God revealed to me in this reflection: Child birth and Labor for a brief moment follow the Passion. In it I can begin to understand what Christ must have been thinking, why he allowed Himself to be abused, why he was willing to offer every last ounce of his strength and lifeblood for the sake of humanity. A woman in labor must bear her pain with patience. I walked most of the day to encourage the contractions, and waited. Each contraction seemed to hurt more than the last.
My Jesus, you bore scourging and mockery for us. You patiently took the beating by the temple guards before you were handed over to Pilot. You knew your pain was for a reason. As the contractions became more vigorous and closer together, I could not do anything but breathe. For three hours I lived the agony of travail. For that breif moment I felt the tiniest part of how Jesus must have felt. You feel as if you can not bear it . You are frightened by the inensity of this pain yet you know, it is to bring new life into the world. You know its purpose is to bring a soul forth into the Salvation of Baptism. Your strength comes from this knowledge and somehow you master the pain and press on. You bear this pain, you push through it because it is for the benefit of someone else. As a mother every ounce of your being is fighting for your child in that moment. You are fufilling the purpose your body was created for, to give life to someone else.
Dear Jesus, how much more, so much more did you suffer for me. Your travail on the cross gave birth to our Sancification. Your Resurrection is like a mother’s exultation upon the emergence of this preicous gift of LIFE! As you did, so must we through Passion and Death to Resurrection, Alleluia!
It is my hope to encourage any mother whether this is your first pregnancy or your twelfth. Whether your child is born at home under the care of a midwife or in the hospital, with or without interventions. God made you beautiful and gave you what you need, not only to get through it but to love through it.
Many Many blessings!