Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Pray Your Way Through It: A Rosary, A Giveaway and a Twitter-Style Interview with Author Sarah Reinhard

It's my honor to be among the reviewers, promoters and pray-ers in the Rosary Blog Tour for author Sarah Reinhard's new book--the first in the series from Ave Maria Press. The book is called A Catholic Mother's Companion to Pregnancy: Walking with Mary from Conception to Baptism.

This is no ordinary "What to Expect" type of book, although it does include some information on the physical changes that mom and baby experience during pregnancy. It is more of a spiritual guide through pregnancy, touching on areas that most pregnancy "instruction manuals" won't give more than a passing mention. It's the book I wish I had back before each of my kids was born. (It's not just for first-time mamas!)

Sarah is all about Twitter--I guess because as a mom of 3 kids under 8, it's hard to think in more than 140 characters at a time. So when she offered to do an interview, I decided to borrow one of her own techniques and ask her to reply to the question in the form of tweets. You'll have to follow her on Twitter, however, to appreciate her amazing use of the hashtag.

You have 3 young children. How did you manage to find the time to write this book?
It was made possible mostly by 3 people: my mother-in-law, sister-in-law, & best friend. I also squeezed writing in during fits & starts.

Besides the Blessed Mother, is there any other saint who particularly inspires you as a parent?
A whole host of them! St Joseph in a special way, as well as Monica, Therese the Little Flower, Elizabeth Ann Seton, & Francis deSales.

What's the best advice you can give to an expectant mom who's not having an easy time of it?
Look to the prize at the end and grip Mary's hand as hard as you need to (she can take it).

Are you afraid of being considered a pessimist because your book focuses on difficulties moms can experience during pregnancy?
If pregnancy is a walk in the park, we need to acknowledge the weeds & thorns too, right? But there's hope & that's not pessimistic at all.

In each chapter, you list "One Small Step," in the form of a prayer activity. What's the one that made the most difference to you during your pregnancies?
Eucharistic Adoration, hands-down, no competition. Laying my head in Jesus' lap, letting him carry me & the rest, transformed & blessed me.

To celebrate the launch of her new book, A CatholicMother's Companion to Pregnancy: Walking with Mary from Conception to Baptism, Sarah Reinhard invites all of us to spend her blog book tour praying the rosary together. Today, she shares this reflection on the Scourging at the Pillar:

There’s no doubt it was painful to be scourged. Jesus’s flesh was torn by the shards on the end of the whips.
Picture the people observing. There’s no reason to suspect the Romans would have had any fondness for him, but in the crowd of leering, goading people, there had to be people who had listened to Jesus’s preaching. There must have been people who were close to him, who had even cheered him on in his ministry and encouraged his miracles. It’s possible that his mother was there, too, seeing her son ripped to shreds.
What must it have felt like to see those people laughing and even enjoying the scourging? How must Jesus have felt in their betrayal? How much more did it hurt, knowing his mother—who had also done no wrong—was suffering as she watched (or would suffer later while seeing him)?
We’ve all experienced betrayal. There’s a special sting when we find out that someone who seemed to be our number-one fan maybe isn’t so much or seems to have changed his or her mind. There’s also a prick I often give myself, thinking that I know what someone else thinks of me. I’ll get myself all worked up, thinking that Susie believes I’m a total idiot about the decision I made (and am standing by).
Is it worse to be betrayed or to be flogged for something we didn’t do? I change my mind on this, depending on the day.
The lesson in this mystery is one that I need: Jesus understands. Oh boy, does he understand. Maybe he wasn’t ever pregnant with his fourth kid and up to his ears in housework and feeling the pressure of a distant family member to come visit as soon as the baby’s born. Having gone through the exact scenario isn’t necessarily a prerequisite for being able to understand though. Can’t you picture his pain and torture in this mystery? Can’t you imagine, to some extent, the horror and weight of it?
Turn to Jesus, in this mystery, and tell him about what scourges you. Give him the heaviest burden you have, the one you think he will least understand. Use this mystery as your common ground, as the place where you meet him. Let him guide you to the place of blessing, where the pain might make sense or have a purpose, perhaps even eternally.
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 . . . 

Now for the fun part: you can WIN STUFF!

And I have TWO copies of this book to give away to lucky readers of this blog. If you'd like to win a copy of the book, just leave a comment below. I will keep the giveaway open through 11:59 PM EDT on October 26, the last day of the Rosary Blog Tour.

UPDATE:  Giveaway closed! Comments #1 and #4 are the winners and will be contacted so I can arrange delivery of their prizes.


Ellen said...

Not that I plan on being pregnant again, but it sounds like an interesting read and something I'd pass along to someone in the future.

Jessica S. said...

A great resource for this Lamaze instructor and catechist. Thanks for the opportunity!

ViolinMama said...

One of my children's Godmothers is expecting and I would love to give this book to her from her Godson. What a gift! Thank you!

Loved this reflection! Amen!

Erika Ahern said...

I'm expecting #4 and would love to have this book as a companion for the next 6 months! Thanks for the interview...

Erin said...

This looks like a beautiful book!

Stuart said...

Please enter me as I have a first-time pregnant wife! Thanks and blessings.