There is something about that moment. That moment when the knowledge that has gradually been creeping into my mind is suddenly confirmed in the depths of my heart. That moment when an awareness of God’s hand playing a significant role in the intimacy of my marriage becomes a reality. That moment when I just know that the beginning of a new life is taking hold within the protective walls of my own body.
Suddenly, I am sharing the great gift of the body God gave me with the gift of another. I am inspired to treat my body as the sacred, special entity that it is because God’s creative work depends on my care. I become conscientious about getting more sleep, adequate exercise, and only consuming nutritious, wholesome food and drink. I’ve done this four times before. I know the routine.
But Baby Tierney #5 has already stirred the depths of my heart to a new awakening.
I realized with dismay that I had always avoided receiving Jesus’ Precious Blood during pregnancy as if it were a mere beverage that held the potential to cause my baby harm rather than the blood shed for our sins that it truly is. The fact that I have taken the privilege and significance of this sacrament somewhat for granted my entire life hit home as soon as I suspected I was pregnant.
Created as the unique and unrepeatable people that we are, God chooses to reveal Himself to each of us in different ways. My pregnancy allowed Him to reveal Himself to me through the gift of His Blood at Mass, which in turn gave me a full awareness of His Presence under the species of bread as well. While “communion under the species of bread alone makes it possible to receive all the fruit of Eucharistic grace” (CCC 1390), I also sensed that, for me, “the sign of communion is more complete when given under both kinds, since in that form the sign of the Eucharistic meal appears more clearly.” (CCC 1390) Yes, God knew the perfect way to convert my heart to a deeper union with Him!
I have always believed with my mind in the Real Presence at Mass, but God’s revelation during the first days of my pregnancy led me to an awareness and belief that now rests firmly in the depths of my heart and soul. I now know with my heart that it is not a symbolic piece of bread or cup of wine, but it is Jesus Himself present in the Eucharist, and I feel as if I have unlocked the joy of the fullness of the sacrament.
It feels wonderful to receive both Jesus’ Body and Blood, knowing I am filling not only my own body, but also my developing baby’s body with God’s grace. I am so thankful for the teachings of the Theology of the Body that led me to this point. By embracing the fullness of the marriage sacrament and being open to God’s plan for our family, I also opened myself to the fullness of all of the other sacraments. If I had not been open to saying “yes” to God’s calling to conceive another child, I would not have been open to the gift of this little person who has taught me how to recognize God so fully in the sacrament of the Eucharist. This amazing life that is but a few days old has already accomplished a conversion of heart before even being visible to the outside world.
I guess that’s often how God works. He accomplishes great things through the smallest, the most vulnerable, and the silent.
I pray for a healthy pregnancy and a safe delivery, but even if unforeseen tragedy should occur, I am so thankful. Thank you, Baby Tierney #5, for being a messenger from God and leading me by your tiny hand ever closer to Him.
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