Thursday, May 24, 2012

Infertitily as a School of Prayer

I've read a couple of very thoughtful blog posts lately that have exposed the tendency of Catholic believers, including those who deeply and sincerely love the Lord, to adhere to the fallacy of magical thinking, which supposes that if I live a good life and do good things, good things will happen to me. Here is another, by a theologian who, with his wife, has struggled with unexplained infertility:


In contemplating the silence of the cross, the image of Christ stretched out in love, I could feel my own will stretched out gradually to exist in harmony with the Father’s. . . . And as my will was stretched out, I found . . .  that the “calling” of infertility has made me aware of the lonely, the vulnerable, the needy, and allowed me to perceive the true gift of a human life.  My meditation upon the image of the cross gave me the strength to go forward with the process of adoption; it sustains me as we continue to wait for a child; a child, who may need more love than we can ever give, more care than we can imagine; to enter into the suffering of the widow, the immigrant, the lonely, who also comes to Mass with a heart deeply wounded. . . . And the more I enter into prayer, the more I see that in these grace-filled moments, [the message of the angel] Gabriel has already come.

This deep wounding of humanity is something that's always been close to my own thoughts, and it's even closer now, as my family grows in love for the little person who, were it not for the strange miracle that is adoption, would have been cast out from all the circles of love and friendship offered by his own culture because he was born with a visible sign of our universal woundedness.


5 comments:

ex-new yorker said...

Reading this and the other blogger's post to which you linked reminded me of reading, over a decade ago, a regular poster on a pregnancy group recounting how her brief difficulty conceiving was such a blow because everything ELSE in her life had always gone great! This was a young woman who had gone off the Pill just before she began trying to conceive, and in total waited maybe a year, just over a year tops? Anyway, as someone whose life hadn't always gone all perfect and wonderful (and who didn't quite recognize how much of that hadn't been imposed on me from the outside, but some had), I felt quite motivated to snark (not to her online face-equivalent, of course) by her complaint. But I guess, although she did not draw this connection verbally at all, it was maybe her first real experience of "woundedness" that she recognized as woundedness, and even if it was off-putting the way she described it as if it were especially bad for this to happen to her because SHE hadn't been one of those people who had bad things happening to her, she may have had a point. (Actually, I was searching for a better way of saying that than "she may have had a point," but I'm dealing with my familiar manifestation of woundedness in the form of trouble sleeping at night when I have every reason to be sleepy, and figure you understand where I was trying to go.)

eaucoin said...

There is a special devotion for mothers of "wounded" children and that is the devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows. Since we all need to talk to someone who understands, we must go to her with the heavy heart that watches and suffers in communion with our children. Always we are reminded that our tears for our children are valuable, that we are not alone, and that suffering can go on beyond what we are able to bear and so we must live in Christ who is strong enough to give us rest. Since His will is love and mercy itself, we must conclude that He wants to keep us at the foot of the cross for the safety of our souls.

Lydia Cubbedge said...

Yes to this.

elena maria vidal said...

I have a devout widowed Catholic friend who is approaching 90 and she struggles everyday with the sorrow of never having been able to bear a child. Infertility is truly a heavy cross.

Anonymous said...

Very thoughtful post. Infertility is akin to Christ's suffering in silence, a little death every month. TQ