A few days ago, while talking about myself I took a breath to mention Sarah Reinhard and her new book, A Catholic Mother’s Companion to Pregnancy: Walking with Mary from Conception to Baptism. It’s the first “Catholicmom.com Book” to emerge from the creative partnership between Ave Maria Press and Lisa Hendey.
I recently met Sarah Reinhard while at an event in Dallas, and she is one of those tiny, dynamic balls of energetic smarts; not only is she raising three small children, writing books, running her own blog and also pitching in on Julie Davis’s ever-growing Happy Catholic Bookshelf, she’s also speaking to groups, and coming up with a pretty brilliant “touring” scheme to promote her latest.
I think it’s brilliant, anyway: A blog tour that invites people to pray a decade of the Rosary while excerpting a little of the Catholic Mother’s Companion, and also offers a nook giveaway?. Yes, that’s brill.
When Sarah asked me if I would participate, I told her my favorite mystery was the Annunciation, and so — since it is the first and greatest mystery, kicking off the whole pageant of our salvation — I get to sponsor her invitation to pray, while kicking off her blog tour.
Let me just say the book is as prayer-minded and unique as the “blog tour” itself. Sarah has written something I wish had been available when I was pregnant and needing a bit of grounding as I moved through that whole period of indescribable joy and weird, anxious dreams. It’s very well done, and in fact I have an extra copy to giveaway, so if you’d like a shot at a freebie, leave your name in the comments section (be sure to include your email address where indicated, but it won’t show publicly), I’ll throw names in a hat and pick a winner!
So, here we go, celebrating the launch of A Catholic Mother’s Companion to Pregnancy: Walking with Mary from Conception to Baptism! Get out your rosary beads and let Sarah lead us in praying the rosary together. Today, she shares this reflection on the Annunciation:
So much of what Mary has to teach me can be found in the first Joyful Mystery. When the Angel Gabriel came to Mary with the request that she be the Mother of God, she said Yes.
She didn’t hesitate or take a minute to think. What made her stop and ponder was the angel’s greeting, not his request. She asked for clarification–”How can this be, since I have no husband?”–but I can’t blame her for that. It was, after all, a miracle out of all proportion with her experience.
How often do I find myself focusing on the wrong end of things and making it about me when it should be about others? How often do I ask God to give me a sign when I carry within me evidence of his mercy and love?
Being a handmaid isn’t easy, but it’s easier, in many ways, than saying Yes without calculating the price in time, effort, and means. Letting things be done to me, as Mary did in the Annunciation and throughout her life, is a bigger challenge than struggling to control everything around me.
As we pray this decade of the rosary, let’s hold all those brave women who have said yes to difficult and challenging motherhood in our intentions in a special way. Don’t forget, too, that we are praying for an increase in all respect life intentions as part of our rosary together this month. (If you’re not familiar with how to pray the rosary, you can find great resources at Rosary Army.)
Our Father . . .
10 – Hail Mary . . .
Glory Be . . .
O My Jesus . . .
You can find a complete listing of the tour stops over at Snoring Scholar. Be sure to enter to win a Nook (and any number of other goodies) each day of the tour over at Ave Maria Press.
You can also access a free webinar, for October 9, wherein Sarah will discuss how parishes can do more to support motherhood.
Like I said, she’s one of those tiny energetic dynamos.