Sometimes, my Lord, the silence is so intense that even the kitchen clock fades away and all I can hear is my own heartbeat. So much is happening, and You remain so silent. But it’s not the silence of resent or indifference. This silence is Your calmness, Your peace, the unchangeable pace of your heart. When my own heart is trying to deal with all that went out of control, surprised me or turned out otherwise than expected – in human understanding, even failed – Your heart is not surprised at all. It loves and always hopes, preserves and protects.
Also today, you are ahead of me. Where I am now – you’ve already been. And you come back to accompany me, to pick me up. You can see what’s to come just round the corner. And you convince me to rely on You, and adjust my wild pulse to the peace of Your heart.
He replied, “My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.” (Luke 8:21)
To be Jesus’s sister. Incredible dignity.
So little is necessary – to hear and put into practice.
But this is not so easy. How can I receive His word and put it into practice in the reality of this very day?
When Jesus announces to the crowd who actually His mother and brothers are, in a way He tells His family to wait. Because if we hear His Word and accept it, it will change us over the time. Over the time.
There is the pain of the rejected, for whom there was no room to become someone they would have been, had they been given the chance to come to this world. The Father of Love and Life, taking them in His arms, must have surely explained it to them that the reason for rejection was not their fault. That they weren’t off-putting, too complicated and too difficult, dangerous and ugly, and thus related with the trash they ended up in before they managed to take the firtst breath.
There is the pain of those who did not accept them, because something was missing – knowledge, courage, love, support from the others. Because there was someone who suggested a quick solution for a modest fee, but gave no guarantee for the consequences. And will never listen to that ear-splitting inner cry of the years to come. The cry which echoes that first cry which has never resonated in the hospital room. And will not miss the warmth of a cheek. And will not ask himself the question who it would have become, if.
Many people say both kinds of pain have been just made up. It really is sometimes denied to such an extent that it is not believed to exist.
But “pro-life” does not result from the detachment from reality. “Pro-life” arises from the pain of the former and the latter.
“Surely a child means for the parents additional toil, new accumulation of demands and costs. Hence the temptation not to give it a chance to come to being. The temptation which is very strong in some social and cultural environments. So isn’t the child a gift? Does it come only to take things away, not to give? . . .
A child in itself is a gift for the family. It is a gift for the parents and for the siblings. The gift of life becomes, at the same time, a gift for its donors.” (Blessed John Paul II, Letter to Families 11)
During one of Dr Hilgers’s lectures, a gynecologist told him about one of his cases:
A woman came to ask for prescribing contraceptives. The doctor explained the harmfulness of the side-effects of such “therapy”. The patient wouldn’t change her mind, so the doctor gave her all the details. In the end the woman thanked for the information but said that any of the aforementioned side-effects would be better than a baby.
During the Program I stayed with a young married couple with two small children. They gave a place for me in their home and in their hearts. I didn’t perhaps observe, but actually took part in their everyday life: kids waking up in tears at night, illness of one of them, and then their mum’s illness, bustling about between school, doctor and work. Evening conversations with the effort to make the right decision. Monthly budget. Ordinary life. But with so much care for each other, so much gift of oneself!
From the two images, I choose the second one. This is the world I believe in, this is the world I want to build. I hope to meet you on that path.
I’ll never forget the view of my host, moving about the kitchen with rosary beads in his hand. And I would like to thank the Lady of the House for her concern for me.
What was the most amazing thing for me during the last week?
Was it the fact that Dr Hilgers – together with his whole Team – ran a complete NaProTechnology Education Program for the first time outside Omaha, outside the US, far behind the Ocean, in Poland? No, I don’t think that would be it.
And maybe the fact that almost 100 participants had come from different countries: Croatia, Germany, Ireland, Lithuanien, Slevenia, Ukraine, France, England and Nigeria? No, that’s not it, either.
The most amazing thing was the committment and sacrifice on the part of the whole US Team – so that we could understand and learn as much as possible. Each day I also felt enormous respect for the other students, who made such a great effort during the EPI. There were so many pregnant women. Also the mothers with small babies at their breast – they had to bring together both the study and looking after their offspring. You could see gratitude on the faces of those who had left their wife or husband at home. You could hear this gratitude in their phone conversations. I’m coming back home today with the same gratitude.
The last day. We are all aware that we’ll see one another in a similar team of teachers and students as late as in February next year. After a couple of days of this intensive immersion Program we’ve all grown closer to one another. Yesterday night you could meet international groups of students learning together for the test. What helps that both the speaking language during the Program and the exam language – are the same: English.
Even though we didn’t manage to talk to everybody, we have that feeling that we’ve known one another for years. And now we’ll take one another with us to the places we live in.
Each of the FertlityCare Practitioner Interns will have to work very hard from now on. But that’s good, because this work is a chance for parenthood for many couples.