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The Sacrament of Conception

There is a sacramental sense in which every conception before Jesus foreshadowed, and every conception since Jesus re-enacted that world changing moment when Mary chose to say "Yes" to God. Every conception is, in a very real sense, an act of God. No two human beings can, of their own will and action alone, produce a new life. Millions of infertile couples attest to this indisputable limitation.

But quite as indisputably, no conception has ever occurred by act of God alone. Even the one unique and world changing conception of Jesus required the consent and cooperation of Mary, the representative of humanity. In the on-going re-enactment of divine and human will and initiative that precedes every birth, a human woman says either "Yes" to God or "No" to God.

Only the conceived life in the womb has no part to play in this ever-repeated response to God. That new life simply takes upon itself, suffers in its being, the acceptance or rejection, the "Yes" or "No" to God acted out by the 'Mary' of human participation. And so, also in a real and sacramental sense, every life in the womb re-enacts the role of Jesus on earth.

Dorothy T. Samuel, 1996

In loving memory of Dorothy T. Samuel, 1918-2001
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