Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Fatherhood, Pregnancy, and Sacramental Graces

Right from the time we knew we were pregnant with Anne-Marie we started praying over her together on a regular basis. We prayed for all of the obvious things like her health and a safe birth. We also prayed that her life be deeply rooted in the Lord.

We also prayed for a nickname for our first little one while in the womb. We came up with Little Pea because she was like a pea in a pod being nurtured and kept safe by Lucille.

I was hit with this deep urge to lay my hands on Lucille's tummy and pray over our little one in the womb daily. Somehow I realized that this was very important for me to do as a father: to pray for the health and growth of my child and most especially place a father's spiritual protection around the child and mother.

It was also important for me to welcome our little addition to the family. It wasn't hard, I was grinning from ear to ear when we saw the confirmation of what we already knew: the test showed positive. Some of the first words out of my mouth were, "Welcome to the family!"

So too it is with our newest edition to the family. We have nicknamed this little one Pitou (Little Person - pronounced peetoo) or I sometimes juxtapose the name and say Toupie (top - pronounced toopee).

We pray over our newest little one often and we talk to them a lot. I try and make a point to affirm Pitou with love and welcome as often as possible. Given my own womb experience this is especially important to me. We are also making a point to introduce Pitou to Anne-Marie. She has begun to figure out what we are saying! It is pretty cool, and we are hoping that this early introduction will prepare her for the time when her little brother, sister, or the twins (runs in Lucille's family and we are hoping!) come home.

We believe in the sacredness of the person from conception to natural death. We also believe, and have first hand experience, of our ability to be not only physically present to our child in the womb, but spiritually present to them as well. The child in the womb too, as we have experienced, also makes themselves physically and spiritually present to us. Especially later on in the pregnancy.

The communion of persons living the Sacramental reality of marriage is a very deep and mysterious thing. Much like the communion of saints there are some pretty neat ways that we can be available to one another in the Sacrament. In discovering these ways, we sometimes experience the spiritual and mystical elements of the Sacrament's graces. This root goes down into the deepest aspects of who we are (Theology of the Body, Pope John Paul II).

The Holy Spirit is Who ties us together in the Sacrament, and as in all Sacraments, we, the married couple are the visible sign of an invisible grace given. Our children are the fruit of that grace and of our love. We make sure to affirm them with that knowledge as often as we can!

Please pray for the successful delivery and the health of Pitou, our newest member of the family.

Pax vobis,

J.E.

My reflections on the first pregnancy can be found here.

My reflections on the Lord's healing of my own experiences within the womb is here.

1 comment:

Iosue Andreas said...

Hello,

I'll say a prayer for Pitou.

I think the idea of a nickname is great. They do that here in Korea. We didn't do that with our first one, Joy.

As Joy was a bit premature and perpetually small, we nicknamed our second one Tuntuni, which means "Strong One." Joel, as he was named, turned out to quite a big lad.

God bless,
Joshua