Scriptural Help For Family Losing A Baby

Not sure if this is the right spot but I need some help.

I’ve had a friend come to me for spiritual help - he and his wife have just lost a baby, and are trying to make sense of it all. Neither of them are mad at God by any means, but

Anyhow, I’ve never been in this situation. I’ve spent a lot of time focusing on why “bad things happen to good people,” but this is the first time anyone has come to me for help.

Here’s what I’ve said:

  • First, trust that God is looking after the soul of that baby. Just trust God all the way on that.
  • Pray for God to help you answer your questions. I have come to learn that when I’m troubled deeply about something, if I open my heart to God, he always comes through with comfort and peace, one way or another.
  • Also pray for God to strengthen you during this time.
  • Stay tight with the sacraments

I’m also praying that God use me however he sees fit to help this couple.

So my question - anyone else have scriptural passages that will be helpful? Any other advice as well?

Thanks in advance, and sorry if I put this in the wrong place.

Perhaps others can help you with specific verses.

The whole matter depends on the spiritual maturity of the couple that you are dealing with.

If they were steeped in scripture, you might not have such a difficulty with what you’re asking.

There are so many quotation that hits at different levels of the discussion.

In the book of Job, Job loses his family, wealth, houses, etc. He says “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

And the general theology of the Bible, that our ways are not God’s ways, and his ways are not our ways. Our thoughts are not his thoughts.

At another level of the whole matter, people are especially protective of children. But, really, they’re no different in that each faces death eventually (until the Lord comes). We seldom know ahead when our time is coming. You can’t spring that on a grieving set of parents. It’s better for people to be aware of this and what life is about by the time they are parents.

8 to 10 years ago, there was a horrible accident on the freeways north of Chicago. A truck being driven by an illegal immigrant lost a bumper or other big piece of metal. It struck the van that this couple was driving and their six kids were burned to death in the fireball.

They were Christians and sadly accounted that they were grateful for all the time that they had with their children but they realized that they were only stewards of the children, that the children belonged to God.

We should be aware of God’s presence in our lives every minute. Lots of things, most less shocking than the death of a child, happen all the time. If we say “why, God?” that’s can be good if we listen to God’s word for the answer.

When I had a kidney stone, I was embarrassed for a moment when I said “why, God?” and then I said to myself, “why not me?” Why not accept God’s will? Isn’t that what we pray in the Lord’s prayer, presumably every day? “…thy will be done…”

A couple needs to be generally evangelized and believe in God’s word to begin with. Particular verses may help, but those are only part of the seamless whole of scripture which beckons us to God.

Deuteronomy 6:4 Sh’ma Israel Adonai eloheinu Adonai echad!

This is the most popular and frequently uttered prayers of the Jews, our spiritual ancestors.

Hear O Israel the Lord is our God, the Lord Alone! You shall love the Lord with your whole heart, and with your whole soul, and with all your might.
Jesus modified this to include “with all your mind”.

The phrase “with all your might (or strength)” the Jews interpret as meaning that you will give up all you have for the Lord, money, family, possessions. You hold back nothing from the Lord. “with all you soul” means you are willing to die for the Lord.

The sh’ma is what a Jew is supposed to say when he is dying.

The first thing that crossed my mind was Psalm 23. “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death thou art with me.” Let them know that my prayers are with them.

Appreciate the help.

I’d call the couple somewhat evangelized. Attend Mass every Sunday, and both have been through CRHP. I was on the team giving the CRHP retreat that the husband attended.

Understand and appreciate plucking scripture from the air. He’s in a bible study I give and I’d like to give him some scriptural support if possible.

In mulling this over a bit, I think Job addresses this more than anything. Of course the short answer there is that it’s not for us to know divine purposes if God chooses not to reveal them to us.

Now that isn’t necessarily comforting, but it is truth.

From my perspective, I am called to rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. So first and foremeost I need to be there emotionally for my buddy.

I’m glad you quoted that one verse correctly. About rejoicing with those who rejoice and weeping with those who weep. Many people like to ignore the second half. Sometimes just having someone nearby who understands is a big help.

A passage I like when someone young dies is Wisdom 4:10-17

He pleased God and was beloved, and living among sinners he was translated. He was taken away lest wickedness should alter his understanding, or deceit beguile his soul… Being made perfecgt in a short space, he fulfilled a long time: For his soul pleased God: therefore He hastened to bring him out of the midst of iniquities: but the people see this, and understand not… For they shall see the end of the wise man, and shall not understand what God hath designed for him and why the Lord hath set him in safety.

I don’t know that you’d want to necessarily give them the verses - but perhaps more the wisdom conveyed in the passage: that God knows the best time for us to die; and when he takes someone young it may be that He forsees that were the person to live a long life he would succumb to the sinfulness surrounding him in this world and lose his soul.

Nita

I’ve been a Catholic for almost 60 years, but this year is the first that I decided to read the bible from beginning to end.

I am overwhelmed at the Old Testament, of God’s enduring love for his chosen people.

The Old Testament is mostly one failure after another. And, through it all, God is there, coming back again and again to promise Israel’s redemption.

As Scott Hahn says so often and in his books, we are in a covenant with God. This means we are family with him. He loves us no matter how dysfunctional we are, but he always wants us to come back to him.

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