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 . . .