Thomas was born one day and he died the next. I came home to grieve amongst friends. Many of those friends had babies in their arms, and I couldn’t help wondering why God had given them the gift of healthy children, and not me. Had I done something wrong? Did He really love me? I felt abandoned and worthless.
One day, I came across some words of St Clotilde. She wrote them at the time of the death of her first born child, immediately after his baptism. She said:
“I give thanks to Almighty God that He had not considered me unworthy to be the mother of a child admitted into the celestial kingdom. Having quitted the world in the white robe of his innocence, he will rejoice in the presence of God through all eternity.”
I thought about these words for a long time. Could it be that God wasn’t punishing me at all? Did God in fact choose me to be Thomas’ mother? Had He considered me worthy enough to be the mother of a saint?
Yes, God sent me a beautiful, precious, innocent soul, to grow within me, to be born, to be baptised and confirmed, and then to be returned back to Him. God gave that difficult task to me. Although I didn’t think I could fulfil that task, with God’s help, I did.
When Thomas died, many people tried to console me with the quick and thoughtless words, “But you have a saint in heaven!” I felt so angry. What was a saint compared with a baby in arms? I wanted to be like my friends. I wanted to be the mother of a live and healthy baby.
That was then, but now…
I think about having a saint in heaven. Thomas is already rejoicing in the presence of God. He is waiting for me. God gave me a great gift. Knowing this doesn’t take away the pain and the grief. My heart still yearns for my son. But it does remind me that…
God does love me. God did not consider me unworthy.
Prayer to St Clotilde:
Hail, gentle and loving St. Clotilde, sweet illustrious Queen of the Franks, who by thy faith and perseverance in the Lord didst convert thy husband and made France for many centuries a venerable stalwart of the Catholic faith, I implore thy powerful intercession in this my great need.
Assist me, holy St. Clotilde, from thy height of glory in heaven. Thou, who during thy earthly sojourn, didst drink deeply from the Saviour’s chalice of sorrows, have pity on my dire distress, especially . . . (Here make your intention).
Grant also that through my sorrows I may, like thee, purify my faith and never lose hope in the mercy of God. Amen.
Perhaps you’d like to share my story My Starring Role and other grief stories on my blog Sue Elvis Writes. Please feel welcome to visit.
Hi Sue. I’ve read many of your beautiful posts about your son Thomas. And, I have been brought to tears many times. I love this post..about your being chosen to be the mother of a Saint. I have often thought about babies who were miscarried, or children who die very young…that their souls are so pure..that they have never offended God by even a tiny fault. It seems to me that among the varieties of souls which He creates, that God would desire such innocents…such sweet and pure little ones. I almost envy those precious souls who know only the joys of Heaven…and none of the sorrows of earth. Yet, it seems their swift journey into Beatitude does not come without cost…for the grief of those left behind is no small price to pay. God bless you, Sue. Thank you for all you share so deeply from your heart.
I have been thinking about your comment all day. I am certain that God’s plan for my life is perfect. God’s plan for Thomas’ life affected mine. But what about what God wanted for Thomas alone? Why would God allow a child to die so soon and not give him a chance of life here on earth? You said, “… It seems to me that among the varieties of souls which He creates, that God would desire such innocents…such sweet and pure little ones.” Thank you so much for these words. That is such a beautiful thought. I am going to muse further!
Thank you for sharing my stories about Thomas. I really do appreciate your kind words.
May God bless you!