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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

For An Expectant Mother

- Taken from "Hours of Devotion: Fanny Neuda's Book of Prayers for Jewish Women" -

Almighty One -- the one from whom life comes,
From whom the strength for life
And the joy of life arises --
You have been mindful of me
And have given me this sweet joy;
The prospect of becoming a mother.
Beneath my heart, I feel the seed of a new life
That shall, through me, come to see
The light of the world --
My husband's child and mine,
A new being born of our wedded joy,
A new bond born of our wedded love.

Parent of all, I thank you
For having given me, your servant,
The blessing of motherhood.

In your wisdom you have spoken the ominous words,
I will let your pangs be great in childbearing;
In pain shall you bear children.

Should we be permitted to mutter and complain that you,
In your great goodness, imposed this on us?
Wise and good are all your decrees.
For long months you allow our unborn children
To rest beneath our hearts until they ripen into life;
Allowing us to gain the knowledge and insight
That we still lack in taking up this task.
You have coupled this time with pangs and pains
Because every pain, every discomfort we feel,
Should remind us that we are becoming mothers,
Should guide the soul to recall
The exalted task and decree that we are accepting.
And why shouldn't we gladly bear the fleeting pangs
And joyfully carry this blessed burden?
Why shouldn't we gladly forgo
Some comforts and pleasures
And accept some sacrifices
For the sweet and fulfilling experience of motherhood,
For the good fortune and blessing of having children?
For our children shall be
As fruit-bearing trees in God's orchard.
For God is the one who allows us
To continue to blossom through our children,
The one who makes us so rich and fortunate
Through the precious treasures
Of a child's love and loyalty.

Parent of All, may you allow the tender fruit within me
To thrive and ripen into a perfect, healthy child,
And bless this child with a strong body
And a beautiful, pious soul.
Grant me also the constancy, discretion, and restraint
To refrain from anything that might harm or endanger
My unborn child, that I might always be aware of it
And guard myself against damaging influences,
Never allowing myself to become overwhelmed
By fear, anger, grief, sorrow,
Or anything else that agitates and disturbs
The soul's tranquility.
May you hear me, O God, my refuge,
In whom I hope and trust. Amen.


Blogger Annie Wright said...

Obviously I'm not about to have a baby, but this is beautiful. Love you.

3:04 PM  
Anonymous Sarah F said...

This is beautiful - Thank you for sharing it.

6:38 AM  

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