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Cura Personalis: More Than a Concept

By Adriana Wendling

Cura personalis is an Ignatian concept that encourages the care of the whole person. This concept is especially important when caring for single moms and their babies. Single mothers often bear the brunt of societal pressure, in addition to the physical and emotional demands of parenting. If everyone takes the cura personalis approach, it can become more than a concept in supporting single mothers and providing them with resources that will recognize, nurture, and meet their unique needs. This could include offering emotional and spiritual guidance, providing assistance, and recognizing the importance of the mother-child bond. That way, single moms and their babies can be supported in a way that acknowledges their value and helps them to thrive.

When one thinks thrive, usually the first thing brought up is money. However, money is not the solution to everything. While financial aid can be helpful, most often people are willing to give money because it is an easy way to be generous without actually doing anything. Sometimes, the best thing a person can do for someone is to help them personally, since it makes them feel important. It could be something as simple as inviting a single mother and her child over for dinner a couple of times a month or offering to watch her kids for an afternoon each week. Everyone has the capability of helping and supporting their neighbor; one does not have to be rich to help others.

Even though everyone struggles and goes through hard times, society is often quick to judge and look down on others rather than offer a helping hand. Pregnant women often need help beyond home life. According to a study by the Guttmacher Institute in 2004, 74% of women who had abortions said one of the reasons they chose abortion was because it would interfere with their “education, work, or ability to care for dependents.” Businesses should be family-friendly and have a daycare in or near the building. If people work together, mindsets can be changed, and the community will grow. Single mothers shouldn’t feel like they are alone and fighting an uphill battle against the world.

The single most important way to help a single mom and her baby is to pray and bring her to God. No one can bring true peace except Him. Having a saint to look up to who has experienced something similar will be helpful because it shows that one is not alone in their experience. A good example is St. Margaret of Cortona. She was not married when she had her child and went on to live a beautiful life devoted to God. Her life is proof that the past doesn’t determine the future, and having a child as a single mother doesn’t make a person any less important than anyone else. 

Supporting single mothers and their babies is essential to helping them know their worth. Not just monetary aid, but an invitation to dinner, acceptance, and support in the work environment and bringing them spiritual rest through God are just a few ways to care for them. Care is more than a nice thing to just check off a list; it’s ensuring that all people are able to feel and know they are loved. In this way, cura personalis becomes more than just a concept; it becomes what everyone does. 

Adriana Wendling won first place in the high school category of the Culture of Life Studies Program’s 2023 Pro-Life Essay Contest.