POPE FRANCIS ON PREGNANCY AND MOTHERHOOD.
THE LOVE OF PARENTS IS THE MEANS BY WHICH GOD OUR FATHER SHOWS HIS OWN LOVE.
Dear brethren in Christ, below you have some paragraphs of Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia which deal with love, pregnancy and children. For all but especially dedicated to young married couples and in particular expectant parents.
Happy reading and meditation and God bless you family!Fr. Rolly Arjonillo
+++AMORIS LAETITIA, NN. 168-171. CAPS MINE+++
168. PREGNANCY IS A DIFFICULT BUT WONDERFUL TIME. A MOTHER JOINS WITH GOD TO BRING FORTH THE MIRACLE OF A NEW LIFE.
- Motherhood is the fruit of a “particular creative potential of the female body, directed to the conception and birth of a new human being”. Each woman shares in “the mystery of creation, which is renewed with each birth”. The Psalmist says: “You knit me together in my mother’s womb” (Ps 139:13).
- EVERY CHILD GROWING WITHIN THE MOTHER’S WOMB IS PART OF THE ETERNAL LOVING PLAN OF GOD THE FATHER: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you” (Jer 1:5).
- EACH CHILD HAS A PLACE IN GOD’S HEART FROM ALL ETERNITY; ONCE HE OR SHE IS CONCEIVED, THE CREATOR’S ETERNAL DREAM COMES TRUE. Let us pause to think of THE GREAT VALUE OF THAT EMBRYO FROM THE MOMENT OF CONCEPTION. WE NEED TO SEE IT WITH THE EYES OF GOD, WHO ALWAYS LOOKS BEYOND MERE APPEARANCES.
169. A pregnant woman can participate in God’s plan by dreaming of her child.
- “For nine months every mother and father dreams about their child. You can’t have a family without dreams. Once a family loses the ability to dream, children do not grow, love does not grow, life shrivels up and dies”. For Christian married couples, baptism necessarily appears as a part of that dream. With their prayers, parents prepare for baptism, entrusting their baby to Jesus even before he or she is born.
170. Scientific advances today allow us to know beforehand what colour a child’s hair will be or what illnesses they may one day suffer, because all the somatic traits of the person are written in his or her genetic code already in the embryonic stage. Yet only the Father, the Creator, fully knows the child; he alone knows his or her deepest identity and worth.
- EXPECTANT MOTHERS NEED TO ASK GOD FOR THE WISDOM FULLY TO KNOW THEIR CHILDREN AND TO ACCEPT THEM AS THEY ARE. SOME PARENTS FEEL THAT THEIR CHILD IS NOT COMING AT THE BEST TIME. THEY SHOULD ASK THE LORD TO HEAL AND STRENGTHEN THEM TO ACCEPT THEIR CHILD FULLY AND WHOLEHEARTEDLY. IT IS IMPORTANT FOR THAT CHILD TO FEEL WANTED. HE OR SHE IS NOT AN ACCESSORY OR A SOLUTION TO SOME PERSONAL NEED. A CHILD IS A HUMAN BEING OF IMMENSE WORTH AND MAY NEVER BE USED FOR ONE’S OWN BENEFIT.
- So it matters little whether this new life is convenient for you, whether it has features that please you, or whether it fits into your plans and aspirations. For “CHILDREN ARE A GIFT. EACH ONE IS UNIQUE AND IRREPLACEABLE. WE LOVE OUR CHILDREN BECAUSE THEY ARE CHILDREN, NOT BECAUSE THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL, OR LOOK OR THINK AS WE DO, OR EMBODY OUR DREAMS. WE LOVE THEM BECAUSE THEY ARE CHILDREN. A CHILD IS A CHILD”.
- THE LOVE OF PARENTS IS THE MEANS BY WHICH GOD OUR FATHER SHOWS HIS OWN LOVE. HE AWAITS THE BIRTH OF EACH CHILD, ACCEPTS THAT CHILD UNCONDITIONALLY, AND WELCOMES HIM OR HER FREELY.
171. With great affection I urge all future mothers: KEEP HAPPY AND LET NOTHING ROB YOU OF THE INTERIOR JOY OF MOTHERHOOD. YOUR CHILD DESERVES YOUR HAPPINESS. DON’T LET FEARS, WORRIES, OTHER PEOPLE’S COMMENTS OR PROBLEMS LESSEN YOUR JOY AT BEING GOD’S MEANS OF BRINGING A NEW LIFE TO THE WORLD.
- Prepare yourself for the birth of your child, but without obsessing, and join in Mary’s song of joy: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord and my spirit exults in God my Saviour, for he has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant” (Lk 1:46-48). Try to experience this serene excitement amid all your many concerns, and ask the Lord to preserve your joy, so that you can pass it on to your child.
ORIGINAL PHOTO CREDIT: L’OSSERVATORE ROMANO (BACKGROUND REMOVED)
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