Blessed is the Fruit of the Womb

I remember the first time I ever prayed in front of Planned Parenthood as a part of “40 Days for Life.” I had never met Leslie before, but she was just the type of person you couldn’t help but instantly like, sweet yet completely sincere. We introduced ourselves and quickly realized we were both Catholic. So we decided to say a rosary together as we walked along the sidewalk holding our sign, “Praying to End Abortion.” As we prayed out loud I heard the words the Angel Gabriel spoke to Mary resonate in a new way as they are repeated over and over again in the Hail Mary, “Blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus.”

I could clearly see that this message applied not just to Mary, but to the fruit of every womb. Jesus is in each of us. Jesus is in the poor. Jesus is in the unborn babe. Can you hear Matthew 25:34-40 be extended, “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink . . . {I was abortion vulnerable and you prayed for me and my situation.} ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? {When did we see you abortion vulnerable and pray for you?} . . . And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’” Made in God’s image and likeness the fruit of every womb is blessed.

Of course the prayer aptly continues, “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners.” Who better to understand the situation of an unplanned pregnancy than Mary? She’s been there too and handled it with grace despite the enormous implications of the situation, because her faith in God never wavered. I love that we ask Mary to pray for “us sinners.” Even though I’m not playing a part in the specific sin of abortion I am reminded (53 times) I am a sinner too. And it grounds me, keeps me humble and slow to judge. This unity allows me to petition not only on my own behalf, but also for the abortion clinic workers and the world deceived by the sin of abortion. I pray that the eyes of the clinic workers and everyone with influence in the abortion industry may be opened to the truth. “40 Days for Life” has seen over 100 abortion workers quit and 56 abortion facilities close since their now world wide movement began in 2007. So keep praying! If you’re not Catholic don’t misunderstand the rosary . . just as Jesus came into this world incarnate through Mary, we pray to Jesus through Mary when we pray the rosary.

As I press forward, I think you know where I’m headed with this, “Now and at the hour of our death.” Will this be an hour of death? Inside that building right now . . . is life literally hanging in the balance? If not at this clinic perhaps somewhere else . . . in the next county, the next state, the next country? Ada county where Boise is located loses about 1200 babies per year. In Los Angeles county they lose that many in a month! If you feel like you lack motivation or fervor to pray for the unborn let me suggest that you stand outside an abortion facility as part of one of the “40 Days for Life” prayer vigils. It is a powerful way to ignite your passion for life. The fall campaign is starting soon Sept 24th-Nov 2nd visit www.40daysforlife.com to find one of over 500 locations.

070

Blessed is the fruit of the womb! A fitting tagline for a sign I carried during the last local March for Life. The other thing this phrase reminds me of with a smile are the weekly growth and development emails the website BabyCenter would send me every week during my pregnancy. Actually, I’m getting them again as we are expecting again, my little kumquat has grown into a lime in the two weeks it has taken me to write and revise this post! It is kinda fun to check out and read the developmental milestones www.babycenter.com/slideshow-baby-size?
Here are a few highlights estimating the size of the “fruit”:

At 4 weeks the baby is about the size of a poppy seed
5 weeks a sesame seed
6 weeks a lentil
7 weeks a blueberry
9 weeks a grape
10 weeks a kumquat
15 weeks an apple
19 weeks an heirloom tomato
23 weeks a large mango
28 weeks a large eggplant
33 weeks a pineapple
35 weeks a honeydew
39 weeks a “baby” watermelon

Now, I certainly don’t share this to dehumanize life in the womb. We can’t base worth on size or age! Take a lesson from Dr. Seuss’ Horton the Elephant, “A person’s a person, no matter how small!”

2 thoughts on “Blessed is the Fruit of the Womb

  1. … thank you for this meditation … “blessed is the fruit of every womb…” Having just spent our “stint” at the Right-to-Life booth at the Western Idaho Fair, once again, I am reminded also how that public witness plays out in the real world. There was the young man who looked thoughtfully at the “babies in the womb” display, and then said “so this is interesting, but don’t you think this is a losing cause?” I replied, “well actually, latest reports in the media, surveys, etc., I think we are actually winning, don’t you know?” He frowned at me, but decided to continue the dialogue, and eventually got to the crux of his concern is “all those who keep their babies but don’t care for them” — which gave us the opportunity to share the multitude of entities that are available to help the women and children and he was genuinely surprised and said he might even attend the Kick-Off Rally in Meridian on the 21st of Sept … just to see if we weren’t kidding. So my question today is “how can you dialogue with anyone about the issue if you aren’t involved in some form of public witness? It’s where you run into those who disagree … or who are uninformed…” It has to start with prayer and with us.

  2. Very thoughtful. When I pray the joyful mysteries of the rosary, I like to dedicate the “Annunciation” decade to the unborn and their mothers. I think of the Annunciation as the most joyful of the mysteries because that is the day our Lord entered our world as man, not on the day of his birth.
    I like your point that the Blessed Virgin is in a unique position to pray for unwed mothers because she was one herself until Joseph took her for his wife. I’m sure I’ll think of that now when I meditate on the mystery.
    God bless you for this expression of your faith.

Leave a Reply