Who We Are:

We are women, we are wives, we are mothers, and we are open to life. This is our way of standing by one another, learning from each other, and leaning on Christ our Savior.

Sep 20, 2010

Womb Weflections

Did you know rechem is the Hebrew word for womb, stemming from the root word racham, which means mercy, compassion, and to cherish?

It's kind of a funny word, like you can't say your "r"s and are trying to say room.

Getting to the point....

A few weekends ago, a group of couples from our parish traveled to listen to Christopher West, a humorously intelligent speaker who gives talks on Theology of the Body. I laughed my pants off, as did my husband who probably did a little too much and too loudly for sitting in the second row, but oh well.

As the Theology of the Body hints, he spoke all about our sexuality as men and women, the marriage relationship, sex, and how and why it relates to our whole existence. It was brilliantly done.

But one of points stuck with me, more than the others. It was a minor reference on our bodies as women and our wombs. He said, "Women, I'm sorry that the world has degraded you, has lied to you, has told you that your bodies are ugly and your fertility a curse. Your womb is blessed and your bodies are beautiful."

My womb is blessed? Huh, I honestly never thought about it like that. I know the Virgin Mary's was because she carried our Lord. But mine? Mine? Yes, because God asked me to be a mother and created me with this most awe invoking ability to carry life inside me.

I grew up in a home with 11 kids, respected life, my body, and knew I was a child of God. I also sometimes watched Dawson's Creek and Sex in the City, listened to Mariah Carey and Dave Mathews , occasionally glanced at In Style and People magazine, saw movies like Clueless, Sixteen Candles, and Grease. 

The outcome?  Amidst the strong convictions to love my vocation and my body.....faint whispering thoughts to have a perfect body like Jennifer Aniston or Jennifer Lopez or the carefree adventurous lifestyle of Carrie Bradshaw sometimes subtly make their appearances.

Somewhere in between knowing God created me and loving my vocation and then sometimes insecure and sometimes highly conscious and aware of the annoyance and pity that fertility and wombs seem to cause the world was my thinking.

What West and the Holy Spirit did for me:

Before TOB (Theology of the Body) Conference:
My body: My husband thinks my body is beautiful, however; I myself would like not to have chest that is as flat as a wheat field.
My fertility: It is a gift from God, but it sometimes makes me nervous.
My womb: After two children, it is fascinating that my stomach can expand three feet straight out and then shrink back into a smaller blubberish mass.

After TOB:

My body: Tears....I struggle to accept my body, but with it's "flaws" I AM beautiful because I am a woman and God made me beautiful.
My fertility: I'm so ashamed that I have not been more grateful for the gift of my fertility. I never want to take it for granted. Again, remind myself, to give it to God. It is not a curse or an embarrassment, it is and will always be a great blessing. My heart knows this.
My womb: For all its mystery and for all its matter, it is sacred.

But what for all of those women, some of them my friends, who were never even told otherwise? So many of us women are starving from a spiritual anorexia by not feeding our souls with the truth. Some have been lied to, or think happiness will come with total freedom and a perfect body. I hope TOB gets to more parishes and more people and help us understand on a whole new level the beautiful gift of our fertility and the freedom of holy marriage. How God depends on us to share the TRUTH, share our JOY, share our GRATITUDE about all aspects of what it means to be a woman and reclaim all its dignity and worth!

I heard Christopher West speak in college several years ago, I've listened to his, "Theology of the Body" on cds three times. It took me this fourth time to understand that even though I may not agree with the modern view to get rid of my fertility or think I need surgery for the perfect body, part of my thoughts still carried this worldly residue that was hindering my full acceptance and joy about them.

It must have been a grace from God, to receive a change of heart this time around. I encourage anyone who is even in remote driving distance to get to one of his talks with your husband. It's awesome for marriage!!

Three cheers to my womb ; )


  1. WOW. Beautifully written. Thank you so much for this reflection. Can't wait to share it.

  2. Beautiful, beautiful :) I am so glad Anna forwarded this to me. Thank you for sharing your heart with us in such a authentic way. An amazing truth !!!
    Blessings , Michelle Benzinger


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