I am in a lot of pain today - I can hardly sit or stand up, bend over or lean forward, without wincing in pain, and I must admit that I'm a bit anxious about what this means for the remaining 23 weeks of this pregnancy. But in this moment, I am just feeling very grateful for my many blessings.
Isn't it funny how sometimes, in the midst of pain (be it physical or emotional), we can be so acutely aware of the many gifts in our lives? It's a gift of our faith, I believe, and I remember being struck by it at other painful times in my life: when our daughter, Lucy Rose, was diagnosed with a fatal birth defect, after her birth and death when I missed her so much that it hurt, when our family moved and it was so very difficult to say those good-byes. During these times and others, I am aware of both the great suffering and the great joy that often exist most vividly when they exist together.
I'm sorry to be so melodramatic on this Tuesday afternoon - you can blame it on the pregnancy hormones :) - but I appreciate that here at Building Cathedrals, we can share little pieces of our experiences in this way. This morning, I was moved to pray the Memorarae, a beautiful Marian prayer. Perhaps you will feel moved to do the same:
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 by this confidence I fly unto thee, O Virgin of Virgins, my Mother. To you do I come, before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in your mercy hear and answer me. Amen.