Is the process of giving birth a medical problem to be solved, a hurdle to be overcome on the way to motherhood . . . or is it something more? Could it be, as Susan Windley-Daoust proposes, that giving birth is a gift from God, laden with signs that speak to women about their identity, their calling, and their destiny?
If so, then learning to read those embodied signs during pregnancy and labor could transform the way women experience childbirth. These signs reveal that God is not only powerfully present in the whole birthing process, but desires to actively work with women to bring forth new life.
Drawing on insights from spiritual direction literature, the Bradley Method, and Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, Susan Windley-Daoust provides expectant (and veteran) mothers with a spiritual retreat aimed at learning to see the signs of God’s presence in their pregnancy and childbirth. Reflection exercises, prayers, and meditations guide the reader in preparing for and exploring her own experience of giving birth. In learning to cooperate with “the Lord, Giver of Life,” the reader receives a sacred gift to be opened not only in childbirth, but in her whole life.
The Gift of Birth is divided into four parts. Part One develops insights from spiritual direction and the Theology of the Body, showing what they reveal about the divine design of childbirth. Part Two walks the reader through a typical childbirth, stage by stage, looking for God’s presence and learning to cooperate with the Holy Spirit in bringing forth new life. Part Three deals with less-than-ideal birthing scenarios, including unexpected pregnancy and medical interventions. In Part Four, seven women share their own diverse birth stories, and how they experienced God’s presence—even when things didn’t turn out as they had planned.
Susan Windley-Daoust is a Catholic theologian, spiritual director, and award-winning author of Theology of the Body, Extended: The Spiritual Signs of Birth, Impairment, and Dying. She teaches theology at Saint Mary’s University in Winona, Minnesota, where she lives with her husband and five children.
|Формат:||21.6cm x 14cm x 0.9cm|
|Тематика:||Медицина, здоровье, дети|
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