Please join us for our upcoming session with Sr. Anne Marie Walsh, SOLT. It takes place Monday 04/17/23 from 6:30pm to 8:00pm MDT. Please click the link below for automatic entry. God Bless you.
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Opening Prayer: The Memorare
REMEMBER, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me.
Perhaps one of the world’s most frequently found sufferings is the grief that comes with miscarriage and/or the death of a young child. Family and friends who could be strong supports often overlook the profound impact the loss of a child has because they are uncomfortable and don’t know what to say, or saints preserve us because they don’t think it’s any big deal. “You can always have another” is like saying, “If your spouse dies, no big deal. You can always find someone else.” This is not the language of love nor of respect for the dignity of another living soul, a person who becomes present at the moment of conception.
St. Zelie Martin, (St. Therese’s mother) who lost 4 little ones, recounted: “Many persons said to me: ‘It would have been better for you if you had never had them.’ I could not bear that kind of talk. I do not think that the sorrows and the troubles endured could possibly be compared with the eternal happiness of my children with God. Besides, they are not lost to me forever; life is short and filled with crosses, and we shall find them again in Heaven.”
St. Bernard of Clairvaux, a Doctor of the Church, said in response to parents asking about the fate of their miscarried child:
“Your faith spoke for this child. Baptism for this child was only delayed by time. Your faith suffices. The waters of your womb – were they not the waters of life for this child? Look at your tears. Are they not like the waters of Baptism? Do not fear this. God’s ability to love is greater than our fears. Surrender everything to God.”
Mother Angelica’s prayer is also a poignant reminder of the personal grief parents wrestle with. The perspective of God here is, at the same time, tremendously consoling.
“My Lord, my baby is dead!
Why, my Lord—dare I ask why? He will not hear the whisper of the wind or see the beauty of its parents’ face—he will not see the beauty of Your creation or the flame of a sunrise. Why, my Lord?”
“Why, My child—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 thank You for the life that began for so short a time to enjoy so long an eternity.
-Mother M. Angelica
St. Therese of Lisieux understood this well. She never met the 4 siblings who died before she was born. Yet she was very conscious of them and prayed for their help when she felt she needed divine assistance. Who knows if her siblings’ prayers before God’s throne didn’t bring down the graces of sanctity that saw St. Therese, St. Zelie and St. Louis (St. Therese’s father) reach a heroic holiness recognized by the official canonization of the Church?
Our greatest joy will be to see God face-to-face in eternal beatitude. And yet, we may anticipate the many secondary joys we will experience, not the least of which will be the meeting, face to face, with our loved ones and with the children that went on ahead and who will perhaps be the ones to welcome us home when our time comes! May all the Holy Innocents intercede for us and for the salvation of the world!
Mary, Queen, and Mother of us all, pray for us!
Questions for silent reflection.
1. Do you have any “forgotten” intercessors in your own family?
2. Who do you anticipate seeing in heaven? Besides the Most Holy Trinity and family, who would you like to encounter once you enter into eternity?
3. Every time we participate in the celebration of the Eucharist we are in the presence of the whole Heavenly court. Though we don’t see it, our loved ones, the angels and saints, Mary and our Triune God are present. How can we become more connected in the communion of saints, with our “brothers and sisters” (both literal and figurative) who have gone before us?
4. What is your deepest desire for eternal life? If you could arrange the details of your “homecoming” who would you like present?