Hopeful prayer Mother Angelica wrote for parents of miscarried/stillborn children

mother_angelicaMy Lord, the baby is dead!

Why, my Lord—dare I ask why? It will not hear the whisper of the wind or see the beauty of its parents’ face—it will not see the beauty of Your creation or a flame of a sunrise. Why, my Lord?

“Why, My child—do you ask ‘why’?” Well, I will tell you why.

You see, the child lives. Instead of the wind he hears the sound of angels singing before My throne. Instead of the beauty that passes he sees everlasting Beauty—he sees My face. He was created and lived a short time so the image of his parents imprinted on his face may stand before Me as their personal intercessor. He knows secrets of heaven unknown to men on earth. He laughs with a special joy that only the innocent possess. My ways are not the ways of man. I create for My Kingdom and each creature fills a place in that Kingdom that could not be filled by another. He was created for My joy and his parents’ merits. He has never seen pain or sin. He has never felt hunger or pain. I breathed a soul into a seed, made it grow and called it forth.”

I am humbled before you, my Lord, for questioning Your wisdom, goodness, and love. I speak as a fool—forgive me. I acknowledge Your sovereign rights over life and death. I thank You for the life that began for so short a time to enjoy so long an Eternity.

Mother M. Angelica, courtesy of EWTN.com

Editor’s note:

The Church explains that (except for the Blessed Virgin Mary) all babies are conceived lacking grace and separated from God, in a state of spiritual deprivation, due to the inherited remains of the sin of Adam and Eve … Original Sin.

The whole matter is (typically) remedied shortly after birth, by the holy Sacrament of Baptism.

This presents a theological problem for the miscarried or the stillborn, since Baptism is available only to those who have been born alive, and since one who has not been baptized is (normally) considered unsuitable for Heaven.

Since we have no definitive, divinely revealed information as to exactly how God deals with this particular type of occurrence, all we can do is rely on God to do what is best … and in faith … consecrate the spirit of our infant child to God’s infinite mercy and tender love.

The routine practice of our Catholic faith seems to hold out even more genuine hope for us, in these cases.

Parents (particularly the mother) who remain in a state of grace, who regularly attend Mass, and who worthily and regularly partake of Holy Communion and other appropriate sacraments, have every reason to trust that God will take special charge of any child who might (for whatever reason) fail to survive the entire process of conception, gestation and live birth … since through our sacramental life of grace, the child in the womb is no stranger to God, who not only indwells our soul, but also nourishes and sanctifies our physical body (including the baby in the womb).

There is “precedent” for God acting in this way, since that is essentially what happened to John the Baptist (while still in-utero) the moment the Virgin Mary (already carrying Jesus in her blessed womb) first approached her cousin Elizabeth (John’s mother).

Here’s the biblical account:

Luke 1:39-44  And Mary rising up in those days, went into the hill country with haste into a city of Juda.  And she entered into the house of Zachary and saluted Elizabeth.  And it came to pass that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost.  And she cried out with a loud voice and said: Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.  And whence is this to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?  For behold as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.

The Church has always considered this to be the moment that John the Baptist, still inside his mother, was himself first baptized.

What Jesus did for his cousin John he will more than likely also do for his faithful Catholic brothers and sisters.

So … even absent the Sacrament of Baptism, under extraordinary circumstances, we have great reason to believe that the same Christ who we receive bodily in Holy Communion … who knows us and loves us … is not likely to ignore or reject the little child dwelling inside the womb of a faithful, grace-filled, Catholic mother.

Our faith informs us, in light of all this, that God, because he is good,  just, and merciful, will accomplish whatever might be necessary, through his abundant grace … to grant the baby eternal salvation and peace … lovingly taking the infant to himself.

Matthew 19:13-14  Then were little children presented to him, that he should impose hands upon them and pray. And the disciples rebuked them.  But Jesus said to them: Suffer the little children, and forbid them not to come to me: for the kingdom of Heaven is for such.

Mother Angelica obviously knows and loves God, and in her prayer for these special babies, she faithfully takes Jesus at his word. For a number of very good reasons, faced with the profound tragedy of a miscarriage or still birth, we should too. 

More on this very sensitive matter here

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