Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Guest Post: Sarah Reinhard's New Book, A Catholic Mother's Companion to Pregnancy (and win a Nook or a book!)

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 Descent of the Holy Spirit:

I remember bowing my head, sitting before the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament during adoration, and asking God to make me an instrument. I didn’t really know what to pray or how to ask, but I had a strong desire to do his will, and I felt an urge, though I couldn’t put it to words. I wanted to chart and plan, but I didn’t know what I was supposed to do, so there was nothing to organize: there were no tasks or specifics.

All I could do was turn myself to Jesus. I always picture him sitting beside me with his arm around me when I’m at adoration. It’s an intimate image, one where we are close and almost cuddling. I imagine that I can curl up beside him the way I do with my husband, and, in that comfortable position, confide the deepest parts of my heart.

For many years, the Holy Spirit has been difficult for me to grasp. He’s without form, for one thing, so there’s not a tangible or visual element. Picturing a dove descending upon me has always seemed sort of alarming. Fire above my head? Well, I have a bad relationship with fire after one ravaged through my apartment building in college, so that’s not very comforting or inspiring.

It has taken me many years to understand the Holy Spirit in context of my Catholic faith, and it all started with that prayer during adoration. Jesus is a face, a human, someone I can approach. The Holy Spirit, though it has taken me longer to reach this understanding, is also a person, but he’s a different kind of person—just as my children are vastly different (and yet eerily similar). So I have come to appreciate the third person of the Trinity in his own right.

The Holy Spirit was sent for each of us, to help us and guide us. He’s like GPS, but with the volume turned way down. He will take us all the way to heaven, but we have to clear the clutter and clamor so that we can hear his still, small voice.

Mary is always leading us closer to her son, and she does it with the help of the Holy Spirit. She’s the spouse of the Holy Spirit, which is a concept that helps me relate to the Holy Spirit. I understand spouses from my own experience with marriage. In fact, picturing the Holy Spirit as a tall, dark, protective guy like my husband, one who will gently carry me or fight through the difficulties to get to me, is far more helpful than the dove or fire images.

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.

*Karen here again ... another great resource for learning about the Rosary is The Rosary: Keeping Company With Jesus and Mary.

Be sure to visit the Wonderful Sarah at the above links and enter her giveaway. I think you'll agree she's wonderful -- she's my friend, my blogging colleague, my fellow coffee fiend drinker, and a wonderful writer. Wonderful things abound around Sarah. Go see for yourself.

Also, to celebrate the Wonderful Sarah's beautiful new book (which I'll be ordering at least three copies of, by the way - one for each of my daughters, for someday....), I'll give away a copy, too! Just leave a comment here, on this post, and I'll pick a random winner on Saturday, October 27th.


  1. What a beautiful prayer that unites us! Lovely meditation!

    My children's Godmother is newly expecting! This would be a lovely book for my children give her!

    Thank you!

  2. That's a helpful metaphor. The book sounds super!

  3. I would really love to win this book!

  4. Come Holy Spirit! A copy of the book would be wonderful. I'll read it and pass it on to someone else, too!

    God bless you!

  5. I'm beyond having babies, but this would make a great gift for a neighbor. God bless!

  6. I have daughters who will enjoy this book. Thanks for the chance to win!

  7. Because I'm pregnant with baby #3, I'd love a copy of her book! Thanks! :0)

  8. What a wonderful meditation! So much we can learn from each other and help each other grow deeper in faith. Thanks for helping me grow.

  9. Beautiful meditation! Thanks for sharing. :)