This week my husband and I got the inspiration to try and get a Pro-Life Holy Hour started in our parish. We basically want to get together once a month to pray before the Blessed Sacrament with music, the rosary, and some led reflections for unborn children at risk for abortion, as well as for their parents. When I shared this idea with our Parish Ministries Counsellor, she recommended I get in touch with a very involved member of our parish (who I already happen to know) who she thought could share some wisdom with us.
Long story short, this wonderful woman had lots of great wisdom. Ideas for getting our own Pro-Life Committee in our parish, and the things big and small we can do to share the message of the sanctity of Life. I have always been Pro-Life (ask my best friend growing up! Oh the debates we used to have!) and am myself the daughter of a woman who has chosen Life over her own health. When she was pregnant with me, my mother was told by her doctor that the pregnancy and particular delivery would be such a great risk, that she should abort the pregnancy. My mother refused, my father supported her whole heartedly, and around 9 months later I was born via a c-section. The doctors scrambled in teams to take care of both of us. It was touch and go for both of us. 30 years later I am pleased to say both my mother and I are in good health. By all rights I shouldn't be here, but because of my mother's courage in the face of the possibility of her own death here I am, the mother of 4 children of my own that I get to share with her. With that in mind, I have always felt called to speak up for the unborn with the courageouness of my mother's faith, witnessed to save my own life 30 years ago.
As I was speaking to the woman from our parish on the phone about ideas for the Pro-Life movement in our parish, I had my mother's faith and gift of my life to me very much on my heart. So, when my contact mentioned the idea of Spiritual Adoption to me, my heart leapt. Spiritual adoption is so simple: You choose to spiritually adopt a baby boy or girl at risk for abortion (not a baby you actually know) and for 9 months you pray a special prayer each day for your little adopted baby. When the 9 months are up, you then proceed to say a prayer of thanksgiving every day for the next 3 months. That makes up a full year of daily prayer for a child whose life hangs in the balance of someone else's choice. I have never been faced with the choice to choose between myself and my children, but I can make the choice here, today, to take totally on faith that I can give a little bit of myself every day to shower love and prayers on a baby who needs my motherly support. Another aspect is that you can name your baby. Oftentimes people who spiritually adopt a child choose to honour a family member who has passed or a favourite Saint. You can also choose when you start praying for a child to have it line up with a special birthday or holiday. The best part is that you can choose a new child every year. The woman I was speaking to on the phone has spiritually adopted 17 babies and could rattle off each of their names as easily as she could the names of her 7 birth children. While she doesn't have actual proof that her prayers have made a difference, I know she feels in her heart that each of those babies represents a real child whose mother, by the grace of God, chose Life for her child when abortion may have seemed better in the moment.
For any of you who feel called to Spiritual Adoption, here is the prayer written by Bishop Fulton Sheen:
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I love you very much. I beg you to spare the life of the unborn child that I have spiritually adopted, who is in danger of abortion.