A place to pray for the mother, as well as the unborn
Catholics are pro-life, and that is to our core. We protect the unborn; we advocate for the sick and the “inconvenient” because we understand that human life is not disposable. We do not throw people away.
It’s a curiosity to me, however, that when it comes to abortion, our prayers are usually directed for the protection of the unborn. Don’t get me wrong; all prayer is good, and praying for the welfare of a child in utero is an absolute good. Yet it is the woman who desperately needs the prayers. She has the knowledge of the one she carries in her womb, but — perhaps through fear — she lacks the wisdom to recognize the evil one working his persuasion toward a fatal decision. There is nothing left after the sin is done, but the reality that she (and the father) has for the rest of life become post-abortive parents.
When we pray for the unborn, do we see the maternity of the woman in unity with her fetus — the whole person, two bodies in one? There’s a time and a place for the graphic images portraying the loss of a baby. What I am considering is how we might pray for these women in a way to protect their maternity.
I’m all about finding areas of peace in which to pray, especially in outdoor settings. I am suggesting here a pro-life/anti-abortion garden on Catholic grounds — one whose whole theme and purpose is to encompass both mother and child and will direct our prayers toward the maternity as a whole — not just on the baby, separated from the woman. It can be a place where the father can come too, if he is inclined, that he too can pray for the protection of the woman, for the sake of her and their unborn baby.
To create such a garden, the plants used, and what they symbolize, are of great importance. Choose those that represent maternity, protection and truth. Here are a few recommended options: