Historically, in the Liturgical Calendar, December 18 is the Expectation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Although this feast is no longer officially in the liturgical calendar, faithful Catholics in the Latin Church still honor this day. The Expectation of the Blessed Virgin Mary is the feast anticipating the coming of Jesus Christ on Christmas. In the Spanish Catholic Church, it is still a very popular feast. To read more about it, I encourage you to visit Catholic Encyclopedia – New Advent.
The writing of this blog article has become somewhat of a tradition for me as a writer. This is now the fourth edition of this particular topic and article. The reason I return to this each year is because I think it’s an important topic, and each year, I get new thoughts from different Mom’s. In the future, my fiancée, will be able to share with me her thoughts on what she was feeling one week before our first child was born.
Trying to determine what the Blessed Virgin Mary was anticipating one week before giving birth to Jesus is difficult since her thoughts have been not revealed to us in the Sacred Scriptures. It’s pure speculation at this point. We know the account Saint Luke tells us in Chapter 2 of his Gospel, however, we don’t know much more than this part of the story.
As human beings, we might ask ourselves some questions about this time in the Blessed Mother’s life – was it difficult on Mary to be away from her family and her mother during this time? Even though the birth of Jesus was miraculous, as was his conception, what was Mary feeling? Did she know what was to occur? Was she ready for it? Did she think she would be a good mother? Was she fearful in any way? Did she really completely trust the will of God?
Knowing what we do know about the Blessed Virgin Mary, her own Immaculate Conception, and the Annunciation, tells us that she did completely put her trust in God, just as she had done nine months prior. Mary is the great sign of perfect faith and joy for us, all the time, but especially during the Season of Advent where we are called to wait and to hope.
We may not know exactly what Mary was expecting one week before the birth of Christ, here are two testimonies from mothers sharing what they were feeling one week prior to having their child –
Monica said – “The week before my first child was born, I was ready! Ready and waiting, full of excitement and anticipation – and I was exhausted. I remember being so uncomfortable I couldn’t sleep. During the night, I would lay awake wondering about who he/she would be, and praying that child would be exactly what we needed in our live to help perfect and grow us into the people of God had intended us to be. Knowing that this child would be exactly who God had in mind for us gave me great peace and hope and joy, and a ready willingness to be this child’s mother. I also prayed that God would give me the grace to be the mother He intended for this child and I begged then as I beg now for the wisdom and strength to raise a child who will love God above all else and whose goal in life is heaven.”
Cathy said – “The experience for my first born was the polar opposite of the experience for my last 10. I was terrified for the first. My good friend had just had a baby and I saw her in labor. I also attended Bradley classes that I stopped going to because everyone spoke of their bad experiences. I was very excited during my whole pregnancy that I was going to have a baby but as labor approached, all I could think about was the pain I would have to get through. I spent a full day in the weeks leading up to the birth, in bed crying and terrified knowing that it was impossible to turn back. The baby could not stay inside of me forever. When labor finally started, I was still afraid. My was labor was longer than it should be been because I was holding back. Still afraid. My daughter was born and I was happy as can be but still could not understand how many women could do that more than once. I attribute most of that to having a very impersonal hospital and doctor experience.
Everything was different for the next 10 children. The same friend who I saw in labor found a beautiful Filipino Doctor who went to daily mass in San Francisco. She and I both went to him for our second children and he was excellent. He was personable, funny, and he knew what he was doing. I was excited to have a baby and when labor started I found a crucifix that fit perfectly into my hand. It must have been belonged to a priest who lived in the rectory my husband and I lived in that year. The church had closed and we were housesitting. When I picked up the crucifix, tears welled up in my eyes and I was very excited.
In the hospital, the doctor came in and asked me if I drank jet fuel because the labor was so short. When he told me to push, I told him that I was afraid because my last labor was so long. He said simply said, “that won’t happen this time.” I trusted his confident reassuring words and my first son was born in one push. I looked at my husband in shock and then we both laughed because that was way too easy. I held the same crucifix for the next nine children and every experience was the same. I learned how debilitating fear is and how it makes much more sense to put my trust in God. He always takes care of us, just as He promised.”
If you are a mother, and you are open to sharing with us your experience, please do so in the comment box.