Reflected in His Image: A Catholic Woman’s Meditation During Labor

Handmade rosary by Beth Diedrick 2015
Handmade rosary by Beth Diedrick 2015

As I approached my last childbirth in 2013, I reflected more on my Savior than ever before. As I prayed and meditated on the Sorrowful Mysteries, I had a revelation come to me through the rosary. What makes us women? How are we reflected in His Image? Sometimes our true femininity, that is wholesome, nurturing, and loving, can be revealed through our suffering in a way only God can reveal to us through His Holy Spirit and Our Blessed Mother.

While we endure labor pains during childbirth, our suffering is the reflection I have come to understand.
I highly suggest trying new forms of meditation to keep your focus on Jesus through childbirth. Have your spouse or labor partner read these meditations to you as you labor; pray the decades together if you are able.
Anyone can meditate on these Sorrowful Mysteries and place themselves up on the Cross with Jesus. What is going on in your life that you can unite with Christ? Follow this meditation to have our Blessed Mother gently guide you to her Son’s Sacred Heart through the power of the rosary.
Don’t have a rosary? You can use your ten fingers!
Begin your rosary with the Sign of the Cross, One Our Father, Three Hail Mary’s (I offer them for an increase of faith, hope, and love in the world), One Glory Be and Fatima Prayer, then begins the mysteries…
The First Sorrowful Mystery: The Agony in the Garden
Heavenly Father, You created woman in Your image uniquely during childbirth. Mirrored in Jesus’ suffering, we ask that You reveal to this woman how much You love her during her pain and suffering.
Like Jesus’ agony in the garden, she knows fully well what pain she will undergo as this labor progresses. Help her through with Your mercy and love.
(Recite 1st decade)
The Second Sorrowful Mystery: The Scourging at the Pillar
Sweet Jesus, You accepted Your Father’s will in spite of knowing the pain You would endure. The hurtful blows were unbearable, yet You were strong enough to take these waves of horrific pain through Your trust and love of Your Father.
Give this woman the strength to withstand the waves of contractions especially when they feel unbearable. Help her to know and trust in You, Jesus, that these waves are but a small sacrifice for God’s greater glory.
(Recite 2nd decade)
The Third Sorrowful Mystery: The Crowning with Thorns
Although nothing could compare to Jesus’ crowning with painful thorns, as this woman feels her precious child crowning, help her to remember Jesus’ pain as she feels the “ring of fire” and help her to offer this pain as a sacrifice and mortification for what our Lord endured.
(Recite 3rd decade)
The Fourth Sorrowful Mystery: The Carrying of the Cross
Jesus, Your cross was so heavy to carry. You carried the sins of the world on Your shoulders. Thank You, sweet Jesus, for taking this burden. As this laboring woman feels the heavy pains of her child entering the world, help her to be humbled and silent. Help her to know this is all for Jesus Christ.
(Recite 4th decade)
The Fifth Sorrowful Mystery: The Crucifixion
For love of us, dear Jesus, You gave Your last precious breath on that cross. We thank You for carrying this woman through childbirth. Help her to reflect on the death of her pain and continue in thanksgiving for Your unending mercy.
(Recite 5th decade)
Conclude with the Glory Be, Fatima Prayer, Hail Holy Queen and concluding prayer, and I also like to end with the St. Michael Prayer.
While you push through labor pains, it’s so important to have a focus, and what better focus than that of Jesus Christ on the Cross? I think that we, as women, are so much stronger than we give ourselves credit. Sometimes our strength comes when we are most vulnerable and insecure, what we believe are our weak moments. This….this is where we can radiate Christ and be a true reflection of His Image, as women, if we choose to see it as such.
This article was modified from my original version. You can view the original post here.

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