I have now lost five babies to miscarriage. The agony and grief does not somehow get easier simply because I’ve been through it five times. If anything, it gets harder because it is difficult to fathom. The only answer in the face of grief and loss is the Cross. Suffering is a mystery we must live and endure. We are not given the answer to why we have lost babies. This grief is compounded by an abortion culture that tells us we have no right to grieve.
Miscarriage is one of those areas where the Church is still woefully lacking in resources. While many writers have shared their miscarriage journeys, more still needs to be done to minister to those who lose a child or children to miscarriage. The one to help bring about this change may very well be you. The one who has suffered this agony and who knows the depths of it well.
It is through grief that we enter deeply into the mystery of the Cross. Christ beckons to us to enter His sorrow, so that He can comfort us in our own sorrow. It is with this in mind that I have updated these Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary for Miscarriage that I wrote eight years ago after experiencing three miscarriages.
Now that I have lost five babies, my heart has been broken in ways I never thought possible. I hope that so much loss will one day make me capable of loving others in Christ even more, since it is through suffering that we learn to love more. I hope the same for you.
The First Sorrowful Mystery: The Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane
“Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Matthew 26:36-39
Our Lord was overwhelmed with sorrow. It bent Him to the ground, and He sweat blood. In a way, isn’t this how it feels to lose a child? The pain is unbearable. It is a chalice we do not want to drink. We want to hold our baby in our arms, but instead we must drink this chalice of grief. We do not sweat blood and instead must bleed out our own child. It is an agony unlike any other.
Unite your pain and suffering to Christ. He knows how you feel. He wants to comfort and wait with you in your hour of need. The Lord is with you, even if you do not “feel” His presence and only see the darkness of night. Give the agony over to him. Surrender to the will of the Father and entrust your child to Him.
The Second Sorrowful Mystery: The Scourging at the Pillar
Then he [Pilate] released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him to be crucified. Matthew 27:26
Our Lord was brutally tortured before he was taken to be crucified. He suffers lashes repeatedly all over His body. His blood soaks the earth. Miscarriage takes its toll physically, mentally, and spiritually. A miscarriage is a scourging of sorts as we go through the trauma; a trauma that can take weeks. It is in these moments that we must unite ourselves to Christ at the pillar. He knows extreme physical and emotional pain.
There will be moments when the grief alone will feel like torture. Give it over to Christ. Share with Him your burden. You do not suffer alone, enter into deeper union with Him through each torment.
The Third Sorrowful Mystery: The Crowning of Thorns
Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the praetorium, and they gathered the whole battalion before him. And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe upon him, and plaiting a crown of thorns they put it on his head, and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” Matthew 27:27-29
In a great moment of humiliation and torment, Roman soldiers crowned Our Lord with thorns. It is deeply difficult to be crowned in loss. We may intellectually know that suffering is a part of this journey, but none of us is prepared for the heavy burden of loss, especially losing a child or children. It is a crown no one wants to wear, but when we lose a child in miscarriage, we are given our own crown of thorns.
Unite that loss with Christ.
When someone says something insensitive to you about your miscarriage, remember that Jesus was humiliated as He died for us. When you feel misunderstood or shamed by others because of your grief, look to Him as He is crowned with thorns. Ask him to help you endure the crown of loss and the lack of understanding you may encounter.
Remember that one day your crown of thorns will be replaced by a crown of glory and the hope of one day meeting your child or children in heaven in union with the Beatific Vision.
The Fourth Sorrowful Mystery: The Carrying of the Cross
And bearing his own cross, he went forth to that place, which is called Calvary, but in Hebrew Golgotha. John 19:17
Christ invites us to walk the Way of the Cross with Him in this life in order to attain the promise of eternal life. We must bear the pain and anguish in love, hoping that it will bring about some greater good. We are not given the why, but we hold on to the hope that our grief will be transformed through the Cross. Through this agony, Christ will break open our hearts so we can love Him and others more deeply. Ask your children in Heaven to pray for you as you carry this Cross.
Let Christ help you shoulder the burden, rather than relying on yourself. Remember how He loves you. In your moments of despair, ask Him for help. He is always there, especially in the darkest moments. He is there helping us put one foot in front of the other. He whispers to us that we can go on and he helps us carry the Cross. Look to Our Sorrowful Mother, who knows the unspeakable pain of losing a child and who walks with us in our loss.
The Fifth Sorrowful Mystery: The Crucifixion of Our Lord
Now, from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lama sabach-tha’ni?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Matthew 27:45-46
Our Lord died on the Cross to bring about our salvation. He underwent torture and death in order to redeem us so we can live forever in communion with the Most Holy Trinity. Miscarriage comes with a crucifixion through the death of a child. For some, there are repeated losses and for others one. As we grieve the death of our children, we must relinquish our grip on them and surrender them to Christ Crucified in trust, just as Our Blessed Mother trusted in Him at the foot of the Cross. They are His.
We must unite our own loss and suffering with the transformative power and agony of the Cross. We hope in Him who will lead us from the agony of this grief and loss to the joy of the Resurrection.
In this time of grief and loss, unite yourself to Christ on the Way of the Cross. Meditate on His passion, death, and resurrection. Turn to Our Sorrowful Mother in your grief. The Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows is coming up on September 15th; the day after the Solemnity of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross on September 14th. September is a month dedicated to the Holy Cross during which we can turn to Christ Crucified in our suffering. Lift high the Cross because it is the means by which we are saved.
Through this grief, He is drawing you deeper into the mystery of suffering and how it can become a conduit of divine love. It is often through our hearts being broken wide open that Christ is able to do the greatest and most beautiful work in our lives. Greater good will come out of our suffering, even if we don’t see or understand it until the next life.
Our Lady of Sorrows, ora pro nobis.