January 11. Hannah made a vow saying, “If you will give me a man-child I will give him to the Lord for the whole of his life.”   Bruce continued with the story of Hannah. She prayed in her desperation and the priest Eli promised that God would answer her prayer.  This is one of a number of Scriptural accounts of infertile women who had “special children,” to whom God gave a special task.  Her son Samuel’s call by God is part of the story.  He was called at a time of conflict and disunity amongst God’s people and Samuel was to become one of the most important leaders of the time. Hannah’s prayer was answered  but a couple’s prayer is not always answered in the same way and many couples do go to great lengths and expense to achieve a pregnancy.  John and Paula consulted medical specialists and also their priest when they experienced difficulty in falling pregnant. He explained that it is natural and good for couples to want to have their love bear fruit in this way.  However the Church teaches that children are not a right, but a gift from God.  Offering a home to an unwanted baby or to a baby born to pregnant teenagers unable to bring up a child is a very generous and loving act.   Becoming an eco-friendly family: Pray in thanksgiving for the gift of new life.  

In the bitterness of her soul Hannah prayed to the Lord with many tears and made a vow saying,”if you will take notice of the distress of your servant and give me a man-child I will give him to the Lord for the whole of his life.” Eli the priest, supposed she was drunk but she said, “I have been speaking from the depth of my grief and resentment.” Eli answered, “Go in peace and may the God of Israel grant what you have asked of him.” Elkanah knew Hannah his wife and the Lord remembered her and in due time Hannah conceived and bore a son and she named him Samuel. I Sam 1: 9-20. Pope Francis.  Adoption is a very generous way to become parents, offering the gift of a family to someone who has none.  Legislation must help to facilitate the adoption process above all in the case of unwanted children, in order to prevent their abortion or abandonment. The choice of adoption and foster care expresses a particular kind of fruitfulness in marriage and not only in cases of infertility.  AL 179-80