The Institution of the Eucharist
Fruit of the Mystery: Eucharistic Adoration
He is Never Outdone in Generosity
by Amanda Mary
Growing up, I had many cousins, and I was always particularly close to my baby cousins. I have always loved babies. Everything about them — their smell, their innocent gaze, their trust, and their unconditional love — drew me to them.
When I was 17, I felt that God might be calling me to religious life. I entered a convent at 21, to the surprise of the many people who knew I wanted to have many children. Although at the time, I was willing to sacrifice having my own children, I knew that God would fulfill my desire for motherhood by making me a spiritual mother to all. My years in the convent were some of the happiest in my life, and I look back on those memories with much fondness, but after four years of religious life, I felt God calling me toward something else.
I never thought I would be called to marriage, but God, in His goodness, introduced me to a wonderful Catholic man who wanted to fulfill the will of God as much as I did. We knew without a doubt that once we were married, we would want to have children right away, as we both desired a large family. About nine months before the wedding day, I began tracking my fertility with the thought that if I did so, we could become pregnant faster once we got married. When the day finally came, we were so happy to finally spend the rest of our lives together and begin building a family together.
We honeymooned for a couple weeks in Italy and France. When we were in Florence, I took a pregnancy test one morning and saw a faint second line — the test was positive! We were over the moon; becoming pregnant so quickly was a dream come true. Two days later, I decided to take a second test, and it came back negative. I took a third and a fourth, and they were negative as well. We were confused and hurt. I still don’t know if that test was a false positive or a “chemical pregnancy,” but I often think about the child that I may have lost.
With renewed hope, we continued to try conceiving, but it was proving to be much more difficult than we had anticipated. Month after month went by, and with each month, I became more disappointed and discouraged. We prayed the many different novenas that people suggested to us, hoping that God would hear our prayer and give us a child. But, as more months went by, I began feeling that God didn’t hear me or that His will was for us not to have children.
I prayed earnestly to Our Lady through her most Holy Rosary, to St. Thérèse, and to St. Mary Magdalene. I believed that I would become pregnant with a daughter, and I decided that her name would be Magdalena Marie-Thérèse. I prayed often to her patrons that God in His wisdom would speedily grant me this child.
My husband finally suggested that I see a doctor, and we decided it would be best for us to see a doctor who specializes in holistic medicine to try to remedy in a natural way anything that was wrong. It turned out that my hormones were out of balance, so my doctor put me on a special diet and told me to take certain supplements and vitamins to help my body become pregnant. As I changed my eating habits and began taking those supplements, I continued to pray, having full confidence in God’s providence.
A year and a half after our wedding, it felt like I was not any closer to conceiving a child. One afternoon, as I prayed during Eucharistic Adoration, I gazed at the Lord in front of me and I felt as if He was asking me what I wanted. I answered, “You know what I want. When, Lord, will you give us a child?”
In my desperation, I looked for a sign. There was a Bible in the pew I was sitting in, so I picked it up, closed my eyes, and asked the Holy Spirit to lead me to the passage He wanted me to read. I opened to Matthew 26 and, in verse 7, began reading about the woman with the alabaster jar who anointed Jesus’ head with expensive perfume.
Traditionally, this woman is thought to be Mary Magdalene. As I read that passage, I knew that Christ already knew my daughter, that she was already in His mind and that He would give her to me soon. Again, I gazed at the Lord, exposed on the altar, and thanked Him for this assurance and consolation.
Little did I know that I was already four weeks pregnant. It wasn’t until the following week that I knew for sure.
Whenever I reminisce on this time, I am filled with gratitude for the precious gifts and graces that God gives to me. He is never outdone in generosity.