Meagan Barras, with her husband Cody, is expecting her first child in the heat of the summer! She shares her personal account with us today of how she has pursued her faith and come to understand the genius of the Catholic faith in dynamic ways through this season of change, sacrifice, and expectancy. She and her husband are living the sacramental path of sanctification and are open to life – specifically in the call to the vocation of marriage and family life.
May you read her witness and ask God what he is showing you in your own journey of trusting God in the changing seasons of your life.
Question 1: As a young Catholic adult who has just entered into marriage, what is your perspective on motherhood as an outcome/fruit of the marriage sacrament?
Meagan: Catholic motherhood provides freedom and fullness in accepting the gift of life and a child into our family. This child is unique and unrepeatable, and it is the understanding of our Catholic personhood that allows me to understand the dignity of this call. Motherhood reveals how selfish we really are. Going to Jesus, to the cross, sick and overwhelmed―he doesn’t desire perfection from you. He desires YOU, not perfection. He speaks to my heart: “I am doing the work―just come and rest. Remember who you belong to.”
Question 2: In what way has embracing Catholic motherhood affected you differently than those of your non-Catholic peer group who approach motherhood simply from a cultural perspective?
Meagan: I am the first one of my college friends to get pregnant. People are excited, but for some of my friends it has uncovered how fundamentally different our views about marriage and family are. One non-Catholic friend saw the pregnancy as a sacrifice, and further, the end of my personal, future possibilities. She viewed my pregnancy as the end of my life as a strong woman. A Catholic perspective allows me to see the inherent sacrifice as a continuation of fullness, not an end of my abundant call to married life in the Church. I’ve been asked the typical Questions: “Was this planned?” “Was this what you wanted?” People try to apply their own criteria of what they think is good and not good in their lives, but it is not necessarily what God sees as good or as beneficial.
Question 3: How have you experienced your feminine genius in a unique way?
Meagan: I have been realizing a deeper level of just how much a woman endures for her family. There is an undeniable reflection of the beauty of sacrifice in motherhood. Strength and grace go hand in hand in the call, and prove the feminine genius to be unique. There is a Gospel-truth to motherhood. It is wrapped in sacrifice, yet yields life-giving power. The freedom and the gift of a meaningful life that we so desire is found in the paradox of Jesus.
Meagan Barras works in full-time ministry serving the youth of Saint Thomas Aquinas in Dallas, Texas