Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Heart of Jesus in the Womb

I like to imagine the moment when Mary told the Archangel Gabriel, “let it be done to me according to your word.” At that moment the Holy Spirit overshadowed her and a new life, the likes of which the world had never seen, was conceived in her womb. Cell by cell the child developed. Within three weeks the first organ appeared. His Heart—human and divine—started beating right under the Immaculate Heart of His Mother. 

At Christmas we imagine the Christ Child, just born and lying in a manger. But what about Advent? Can we imagine the Christ Child in the womb of His Mother Mary?  Can we have a devotion to the Child Jesus at this stage of His life? And couldn’t such a devotion help us reverence human life at all its stages?

George A. Peate thinks so. His book, Unborn Jesus Our Hope, reflects on the first nine months of Jesus’ life
as He lived and grew in Mary’s womb. It’s filled with references by Christians of all times and places and denominations. It includes prayers: a Litany of the Unborn Christ Child and a Litany in Honor of Mary, the First Christian. And it makes a strong connection between Sacred Heart devotion and the Pro-Life Movement. Here’s an excerpt:

“And so we picture the unborn baby Jesus within His mother’s womb, skin almost transparent in these early weeks of human life, and His Heart, not yet hidden by a thicker, more developed skin, but visible, actually throbbing, pulsing with divine love for us! This is the miniature reservoir of that one commodity that could purchase the salvation of the entire human race, the blood of God Himself! This Precious Blood is separate and different from His mother’s. A small delicate vial of heavenly medicine. It is a tiny Heart, but proportionately—compared to the rest of its body, during the first and second months—it measures up to nine times the size of the adult heart. Appropriately, the Heart of Unborn Jesus (and His head) dominated His Body: for the incarnation is about God’s Love for us.”

Unborn Jesus Our Hope was published by Life Cycle Books in 2006 and is available at the Unborn WordAlliance. 

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