This Is My Body


Spiritual guidance from women Saint’s.


This Is My Body by Hannah Shanks

Kneeling at the Communion rail, Hannah Shanks trembled as she received the bread and cup. Hours before, she had discovered she was pregnant. She heard the familiar words—”The body of Christ, broken for you; The blood of Christ, shed for you” as if for the first time. She remembered Jesus’ words: “This is my body.” Shanks realized that these words not only describe Jesus’ death but also apply to every birth that has taken place. Suddenly, she felt a closer connection to God.

This Is My Body is organized around the framework of Communion, a central act of the Christian faith. Part personal narrative and part reflection on scripture from a woman’s point of view, this book is about finding a new relationship to the acts of Christian community through the experiences of a woman’s body, including pregnancy and childbirth.

Though the book centers on women’s experiences, it offers an opportunity for women and men to consider how they too might be freed in the gospel proclamation, “This is my body; This is my blood.” The author approaches motherhood with an understanding of its sacred nature and its profound ability to change her identity. She battles church stereotypes attached to mothering and emerges with a deeper understanding of herself and her relationship to the Holy.


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