A Book and a Prayer

Yesterday, I introduced Sarah Reinhard to those of you who may not know her.  Sarah’s newest book is A Catholic Mother’s Companion to Pregnancy: Walking with Mary from Conception to Baptism.  What a lovely book!

If you are pregnant for the first or second time, this book won’t be the only book you will want.  It’s not going to tell you all the details about your baby’s development or answer all the questions you may have about prenatal testing or exercising during pregnancy.  Some of these details are in there – enough in fact that if you are pregnant for the fourth or fifth time, this might be the only book you need.

What Sarah has done is given a weekly reflection for the expectant woman.  First, she gives just a bit of information about you and your baby: what you may be experiencing and the baby’s stage of development.  Then she presents one of the mysteries of the rosary and relates that to the pregnancy journey.  She suggests a concrete act that the reader can do to prepare spiritually for her baby.  She includes a relevant Scriptural passage and concludes with a prayer.  I can not think of a better way to count the weeks to your due date.

But that’s not all!  Those reflections are the bulk of the book, but she then has a section on Labor and Birth and a final section on Baptism.

Why was this book not around 15 years ago?  Or even one year ago?  Without reservation, I believe that any pregnant Catholic woman would love this book, whether it be the first or the tenth baby.

And just as Sarah’s book uses the mysteries of the rosary as a framework, Sarah is doing a blog book tour asking everybody to pray one of the mysteries of the rosary as they go along.  I’m the tenth stop, and the tenth mystery: The Institution of the Eucharist.  Before we get to that, there are some prizes to be had.

I received an extra copy of A Catholic Mother’s Companion to Pregnancy, so leave a comment below for a chance to win it for you or for someone you know.  If you answer any of the questions that I asked Sarah in my interview (for example: where would you go on a dream vacation), I will enter your name twice (no, I will not enter your name for any additional questions you answer, so pick your favorite one).  I’ll pick a name on or around noon on Sunday, October 21st, so leave your comments until that time.

If you go to Sarah’s website, she has links to all the stops on her blog tour, and many of those bloggers are giving away copies of her book as well (many chances to win!!).

And Ava Maria Press is giving away a Nook.  You can enter to win once a day through the end of the book tour.  Very cool.

OK, enough of my prattle.  Time to pray:

To celebrate the launch of her new book, A Catholic Mother’s Companion to Pregnancy: Walking with Mary from Conception to Baptism, Sarah Reinhard invites all of us to spend her blog book tour praying the rosary together. Today, she shares this reflection on the Institution of the Eucharist:

When Jesus instituted the Eucharist at the Last Supper, he began by doing what might have been the grossest act of service in his day: he washed the disciples’ feet. During the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper in our parish, our priest washes people’s feet. Since our parish is small, it’s open to whoever is willing to go to the front.

I’ve found, over the years, an interesting correlation. Kids are often enthusiastic about this and will be the first in line. Adults are less so, though some of them will participate.

In my own experience, I find it brings me to tears to have my priest wash my foot (which isn’t nearly as stinky or gross as the disciples’ feet were) and then kiss it. There’s something tender and moving and, most of all, humbling about it. When I’ve talked to our priest about washing feet, he has said that it’s probably his favorite act. He says it gives him a chance to say thank-you in a very personal way for the people who will allow him to wash their feet. He considers it to be a gift to him.

Performing gross tasks, things that people can’t believe we would do for someone else, can be a blessing for them but also for us. It’s a two-way street of blessing, and when we avoid either end of the equation, we lose—or keep someone else from losing—the blessing that’s waiting for us.

When can I say yes to someone else’s offer? How can I embrace the service for me and return it in a way that will make me a channel for God’s grace? In an act as simple—and as disgusting—as washing feet, Jesus inspires each of us to give until it hurts.

As we pray this decade of the rosary, let’s hold all those brave women who have said yes to difficult and challenging motherhood in our intentions in a special way. Don’t forget, too, that we are praying for an increase in all respect life intentions as part of our rosary together this month. (If you’re not familiar with how to pray the rosary, you can find great resources at Rosary Army.)

Our Father . . . 

10 – Hail Mary . . .

Glory Be . . . 

O My Jesus . . . 

You can find a complete listing of the tour stops over at Snoring Scholar. Be sure to enter to win a Nook (and any number of other goodies) each day of the tour over at Ave Maria Press.

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12 thoughts on “A Book and a Prayer

  1. I would love to have a hard copy of Sarah's book, so enter me please.

    My favorite title of Mary is also Our Lady of Guadalupe for the simple reason that my wedding anniversary is Dec. 12…and I was Protestant at the time so it wasn't planned that way (I think Mary had a hand in that one).

    I love how she answered that she liked the “idea” more than the reality of living in the farm house. I think that every time our family visits either my folks or my in-laws, who both live in the country (my MIL even has a herd of horses, Sarah would love it)! I love letting the kids run around outside but the reality of living there full time and the amount of work that goes into it is overwhelming to me and my obvious lack of serious work ethic!

  2. That looks like an awesome book and I'm 16 weeks, so hopefully I could put it to good use.

    I have a friend who's good at everything,can make a meal for a crowd out of random pantry ingredients and does cool crafty stuff for her kids while homeschooling them all even while her husband is deployed. I tell everyone who knows her I want to be like her when I grow up.

  3. ohmigosh this is the book i've been searching for!

    pick me pick me! 🙂

    I'd love to be neighbors with Mother Seton 🙂 she's a longtime favorite/patron of mine! Mother, Wife, foundress, teacher! so much wisdom and laughter, i'm sure, to share 🙂

    (also, no blindfold. i'd want to see it coming)

  4. Oh! Pick me!!! One of my children's Godmother's is newly expecting and this would be the perfect present for her!!!

    I'll pick a different question from the lovely ladies above:

    Favorite junk reading/guilty pleasure?

    I LOVE getting new books for my Kindle. It's a guilty pleasure, because sometimes the only thing I get done these days is downloading the books. Actually reading them is another story. But they look really good on my book list. Really. I know they will be so good. SOON.

    Love your blog Michelle!! Big fan of you and Sarah!!

    Many blessings and thanks!
    ~ViolinMama

  5. What a beautiful family! And the book looks great too!

  6. I would love a copy of this book. How insipiring as we go through the journey of expecting.

    As far as a question, my dream vacation would be Italy. How beautiful it would be!

  7. In 2006, I converted to the Catholic faith and struggled with the Church's teaching on contraception. After much prayer and discussion as a couple, in April of 2008 my husband and I decided to start saving to have my tubal reversed. This is an expensive procedure and we figured it would take us several years to save the money. But we felt it was really what God was asking us to do. In June of 2008 (just two months later) He gave us the money we needed! In October of 2009, we gave birth to our third son! Afterwards, we learned one of my tubes was blocked and my hormones were a mess. In other words, it was a miracle I became pregnant and carried to term. My desire for children has never went away and this has been difficult as I've struggled with the reality that chances are I would have no more children. I've often went to adoration begging God to take away my desire for more children. Well, imagine our surprise when we discovered 3 weeks ago that I was 5 weeks pregnant!
    Do I get the book for a good example of God's amazing mercy and love??

    My dream vacation since I was 12 years old has been Italy. I hope to go in 2016 when my good friend's son is ordained to the priesthood. Please pray for him. His name is Thomas.

  8. I would love a copy of this book! My favorite mystery of the Rosary is also the Annunciation. I agree with all that Sarah said about it, and would probably site it as my favorite section of the entire Bible! Last Christmas, after a year of trying for baby #3, I did a novena in which I read/prayed the Annunciation sequence from Luke, and also the Magnificat. Less than two months later, I was pregnant – and with our first girl. 🙂 She is due next month.
    -Holly

  9. I would love to have this book for our newest addition!

  10. What would I do with three hours to myself? Well, since reading is not an option, I'd probably do some logic problems (I'm a total nerd) until I got sleepy and then take a long wonderful nap! 🙂

  11. I really like the idea of linking pregnancy to the Rosary. I'd love to win a copy.

    My favorite mystery is the Visitation. I love everything about it.

    And I'd take the blindfold. I hope to be praying in my last moments, and I think it would help me focus not to be looking down the barrel of a gun.

    I wonder what it says about me that I picked those questions to answer…

  12. Homeowner, you won my drawing! Please email me with your mailing address.

    Jenny, you won my sympathy vote! I will send you the other copy I have, if you don't mind it slightly dog-eared. Email me your address.

    the REIT stuff @ gmail dot com

    I do hope the rest of you are entering to win at any of the many other drawings!!!

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