During Advent, I feel especially close to Mary. I love to think about her, going about her daily household tasks, knowing that she was carrying a very special baby inside her.
Each time I was pregnant during Advent, I felt a special kinship with Mary. As I felt my baby move and kick, some part of me reached back through the centuries and connected with that other, more mystical pregnancy. My own hopes for my unborn baby linked with her hope for her child and formed a bond that I still feel today.
I like to think about Mary and picture her in my mind. I usually imagine her hugely pregnant, glowing with the knowledge that she is bringing a special life into the world. I remember myself at that final stage of pregnancy. I know that, in the last month of pregnancy, there was never a moment when I was not aware that I was carrying a baby. I liked the idea of sharing this mystical connection with Mary, who surely had her baby on her mind every minute during that last month before Jesus was born.
In a way, Mary elevated pregnancy to a new level. Because she said "yes" to the messenger of God, she carried the savior into the world. Because she carried Jesus in her womb, her pregnancy was holy. Because Mary’s pregnancy was holy, I can see that all pregnancy is holy. My own pregnancies were holy.
As I think about Mary this Advent, I realize that there are pregnant women who do not have anyone to stand with them. There are women whose fear and uncertainty cast a shadow over their joy about being pregnant. I feel called to lend support to an organization that assists pregnant women. I want every woman to be able to experience pregnancy as holy.