I have been extremely blessed in life. I’ve been blessed with a wonderful wife and family. We’ve been blessed with many graces and such from Almighty God and love from our friends. We’ve also been blessed with sorrow.
I confidently and cheerfully tell people that I am the father of seven souls. Six of whom are here with us on earth. We lost one, however, due to an early miscarriage. Tomorrow (Saturday) is the day we remember this little soul, Francis Mary. It was 3 years ago this day that our suspicions were confirmed that something wasn’t right. He was child #5 of the now 7.
This was a tremendous burden on my wife; one that I will NEVER know. I did my best to console her but I know I would not be able to fill this hole. It was also sad for me…the worst part was seeing the empty womb on the ultrasound at the doctors office. I never did get to see the first ultrasound a few weeks prior. I’ve seen the first ultrasounds on all the others.
As a Catholic, I believe in the existence of Limbo. Therefore, we made an attempt to conditionally baptize our little baby. We did not know when the soul left the body. God-willing, the attempt was successful; otherwise we know Francis Mary, at worst, is in a state of perfect natural happiness in Limbo. I suppose I will know for sure when I pass from this world. Francis Mary, knows, though. We do know that!
How has this sorrow in our lives been a blessing?
- We were given a good firm but gentle reminder that God is in charge and not us. This brings my heart a lot of peace that we do not have all the answers and we don’t need to know all of them. We just need confidence and trust in Divine Providence.
- We do our part, God does His part. We received other “This is Providential” consolations immediately in the wake of this loss.
- It gave us something else to pray for that we really had not needed before.
I blogged earlier about my trip to Italy to attend a priestly ordination. When preparing for that trip, I asked one of my fellow Oratorians (who had visited this part of Italy in the previous year) on whether or not I should go to Florence or Sienna on my free day in Tuscany. She wholeheartedly told me to go to Florence and to go to particular church, San Marco, and visit the Bambino Gesu. Many families who have suffered with fertility issues have taken their prayers to this little shrine to the Holy Family. In light of the miscarriage, she thought it would be fitting to make this visit. So I went to see Him. (There’s a whole ‘nother story here, but I’ll spare you for now as this is getting long anyway!)
Our Lord delivered. One month after I returned from Italy, Jenny was found to be “with child” once again. He’s now a very happy and energetic two year old, affectionaly known as Flip but named after a favorite defensor fidei.
Why does God allow suffering? To bring greater joy and spiritual well-being and to teach us a thing or two.
(and for the Latin challenged, that means Blessed be God!)
An embroidered memorial to Francis:
Our friends at Catholic (and Precision) Embroidery produced this wonderful image.