These Scripture passages will help give your Lent -- and your pregnancy -- deep meaning.
The Lenten season is about trying to become more Christ-like, adding things to aid in the process and removing things that distract us from it. Due to the physical demands of pregnancy, expectant women are exempt from fasting during Lent, but since fasting is such a major part of the season, many women feel that they’re not able to participate fully in the days of preparation before Easter. Even without fasting, however, there are many ways to make the most of Lent during your pregnancy. Using powerful quotes from Scripture, here are 5 ways to do that:
I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. – Philippians 3:10-11
Pregnancy is a time of joy and excitement. It is also a time of great struggle, culminating in the incredible pain of childbirth, through which a new life is brought into the world. A woman’s journey through pregnancy, labor, and childbirth closely mirrors Christ’s trial in the desert, suffering, death, and resurrection. When looked at in this light, Lent is an ideal time to be pregnant.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you. –1 Peter 5:6
Everyone, pregnant or not, struggles with pride. One woman made it her Lenten sacrifice to accept offers of help during her pregnancy. She let go of her pride and accepted the charity of others with a thankful heart. This could also be accomplished by performing acts of kindness without witnesses, sharing the spotlight or admitting fault when in the wrong.
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness. – 2 Timothy 3:16
Lent is a wonderful time to better understand the teachings of Christ. This can be accomplished in many ways, such as attending daily Mass when it is possible, regularly praying the rosary, making it a goal to read through the Bible or meditating on the Gospel of the day. An expectant mother can find something, big or small, to do every day to strengthen her spiritual life, bringing her closer to God.
And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.” – Luke 9:23-24
Self-mortification encompasses much more than just fasting. It is denial of corporal desires in order to strengthen the spiritual will and, in doing so, becoming closer to Christ. This denial could be in the form of avoiding a favorite food, giving up coffee or tea, staying away from social media or turning off the television, to name a few. Through small acts of self-denial, a woman can imitate the suffering of Christ, taking up her cross and following Him.
Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. –Ephesians 4:32
From personal experience, going through a pregnancy with a positive attitude can be very hard. Acting in a loving, forgiving, kind way while also feeling sick, tired and physically uncomfortable can take a great effort. Even though Jesus was beaten, ridiculed and nailed to the cross, He still asked His Father to forgive His tormentors. He never stopped loving mankind, despite how ugly their actions were and how deeply they hurt Him.