By Rhonda Zweber
“And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the child leaped in her womb;
and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.”~Luke 1:41
One of my favorite experiences of motherhood occurred before I officially became a mom. When I felt my first baby move inside me, I smiled and was entertained by what felt like her pushing against the wall of my womb. I tried to imagine what she was accomplishing with her
movements. Was she figuring out how to stretch her legs and arms, or was she just looking for attention? When Mary, who was carrying Jesus in her womb, approached Elizabeth, Elizabeth’s unborn child, John the Baptist, leaped for joy. Having felt those kinds of movements from my girls, I can place myself in that Bible story!
March for Life
Attending the March for Life ignited my daughter Hailey’s passion for standing for life. One year, the march was even more moving than usual. During a bus ride to the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC, the group leader announced to the kids that Hailey’s dad (my husband, Val) was having emergency surgery for a tumor that extended from his esophagus to his stomach. The leader asked that everyone pray during Mass for the surgery’s success.
After Mass, Hailey learned that her father’s surgery had been nothing short of miraculous. Instead of taking out his entire esophagus and part of his stomach, the surgeon, guided by our Divine Physician, removed only the tumor. That day, Hailey experienced not only tens of
thousands of people marching for the lives of unborn children but also God’s healing grace as her team poured out their hearts in prayer for a man many of them didn’t even know.
Divine Physician, please bring healing to all who are sick. Protect the lives of the innocent. May we cherish the miracle of life. Amen
Call to Action
What can you do to help the unborn? Consider joining your parish’s Respect Life committee or volunteering at a nearby pregnancy center. Most of all, pray daily for the rights of the unborn.
+Rhonda Zweber went to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus, on April 28, 2021. A woman with a deep and genuine devotion to the Blessed Mother, it was fitting that she left this earth on the Feast of St. Louie de Montfort.
Author of Mommy’s Hats and the WINE book club book Reading Between the Signs: Unexpected Directions on the Ultimate Journey, Rhonda had almost completed her third book when she passed. In honor of their mother, Rhonda’s three girls finished her book Moments with Mary, and her husband Val wrote the afterword, “A Happy and Beautiful Death,” which is a tribute to a joy-filled woman of faith and a description of the peaceful death they all experienced.
On April 28, 2022, a church filled with Rhonda’s friends gathered to celebrate Mass in her memory. Following Mass, in perfect Rhonda style, friends were treated to a beautifully decorated room, some fantastic food, and a laughter-filled launching of her latest book.
Rhonda blessed WINE in many ways— her decorating, writing, organizing, creativity, hard work, prayerfulness, story-telling, friendship, joy, and room illuminating smile! She is deeply missed every day, but we are comforted picturing Rhonda, and that smile, enjoying the fruit of the vine in her Father’s kingdom with Jesus, His mother, St. Joseph, and all the saints and angels.
Purchase Moments with Mary here.
*This post originally appeared in “Called by Name: 365 Daily Devotions for Catholic Women”
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Remembering Rhonda on this day – and sending much love to the entire Zweber family. Unsurprisingly, Rhonda continues to bless us with her words, her beautiful family, and her lasting witness.