An Embryo’s Lament

Unborn baby inside the mother’s womb.

Meditation of an embryo.
By Fr. Augustin-Marie

I can’t see the daylight yet. I am nestled inside my mother, who is carrying me. I am tiny: but the man who is to be exists within me already. I am an embryo. The man and the woman who gave me life, my father and mother, were embryos before me. An embryo exists to grow, and to become a man or woman. Once I am fully grown, I shall be able in my turn to give life to new embryos. I am a link in the chain of being.

My life hangs by a thread — the bond which binds me to my mother. All I receive comes through this thread. Like a fish in an aquarium, I live in a liquid which surrounds and protects me. I am safe, curled up in my mother’s womb.

I am all hunched, my eyes and fists tight shut. Yet slowly, and minute by minute, I unfold. Gradually, I perceive things; I hear something of the world outside my mother. I grow, mysteriously, in this silent, secret room where none but muffled noises reach me, as if I were wrapped in cotton wool. Already I know the difference between high-pitched sounds and deep ones. There is a world outside; I am getting ready to conquer it! When I have grown, this is the world I shall discover.

Yet the thread by which I hang is too thin. My being is too secret, my presence too unknown. How can I defend myself, with my eyes shut and my little hands still closed? I cannot even cry out. I am too small; I am tiny. I am only an embryo.

I am here, but no one sees me. I am here, but no one wants me. I hurt no one, but they seek my life. I do nothing, and already I am dangerous. I am innocent, but already condemned.

The world outside has decided that I was not expected and that I am unwelcome. I am in here, but no one out there can be bothered with me. No one wants anything to do with me. Tiny though I am, I upset their plans. I don’t shout, I make no noise, and I hardly move, but even so, I trouble them.

My life will end while I am still inside. The outside is forbidden me. They will do away with me, kill me. I don’t know why; I didn’t ask to come into being. And now that I exist, they want to send me back into nothingness. They want to break the chain. I don’t understand — I am just an embryo whom the world does not want. I shall stay in the dark. I shall never see daylight.

Help me!

The above meditation of an embryo was published by Fr. Augustin-Marie of the Fraternity of St. Vincent Ferrer at Le Salon Beige and has been translated with permission from the author.

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