Today we will pray the Fourth Sorrowful Mystery: Christ Carries the Cross.
Four months pregnant, the first trimester nausea and fatigue were well behind me, and I was looking forward to the renewed energy that all the pregnancy books promised.
It was mid-summer. Hot and humid days extended into weeks, but that renewed energy never came. Instead, I began retaining water, and my feet and ankles swelled up. It was heavy and uncomfortable, with no long-lasting relief in sight.
I wanted to cry. And so I did.
As a mom of six beautiful children, I endured a lot of discomfort and pain during my pregnancies: nausea, back pain, insomnia, and bed rest. During my first pregnancy, I didn’t expect it to be hard. In my subsequent pregnancies, I dreaded the difficulty that always came in some form or another.
How could something as miraculous as pregnancy feel like such a cross?
When I related my suffering to Christ’s suffering, it made perfect sense.
Yes, carrying His cross led Jesus to death. But it also led to Resurrection. As a result, we receive new life in Christ, because He was willing to suffer for us. Our crosses lead us to new life, too, when we willingly embrace them.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24).
But how do we remain hopeful and joyful when pregnancy feels like a cross?
We turn to the Lord. We remember that the sorrowful always leads to the glorious. And in the midst of it, we hold onto Jesus’ promise that when we come to Him with our burdens, He will give us rest (cf. Matthew 11:28).
Lord, in the midst of this pregnancy, I find some days are unexpectedly hard. I grow weary of the pain and discomfort. I unite this small cross to yours, Jesus, and I trust that You will help me carry it with patience and love. Amen.
The writers of Catholic Mom enthusiastically gathered to share meditations on each Mystery of the Rosary in a special way for pregnant mothers. We invite you to join us throughout the month of May as we pray together each day, and to share these reflections with other moms who will enjoy them.
Images: created by Ted Schluenderfritz for Holy Cross Family Ministries