With the dovetailing of this week’s events: Pope Benedict’s visit to the U.S. and in our family microcosm of the world, our joyful news of passing court and the official additon of a new child, our household and my scattered brain has been, well, more scattered than usual! So much to pay attention to, new exciting things.
So many thoughts have been rumbling through my mind from the mundane to the ones with a wider scope. My attention has been focused mainly on the awesome ecstatic news of our new baby, but it has also been caught again and again by our Pope, glimpses on the news and web, flashes of those wonderful red shoes, following the trail of his historic visit here.
My kids ask why it’s important that he’s here. And I say “because we are Catholic. That’s our Pope.” But that means so much. It is so far reaching. “Catholic” itself, the word, means universal….far reaching indeed. And somehow, for me, this week, that jives as I reach my heart to Ethiopia, half a world away, to my little boy, waiting for me, for his new dad, for his family, in a blue crib. And somehow, that connection, that reaching seems so much more.
As I have little to no skill in distilling my rambling racing thoughts, it gives me great pleasure to find someone who does and who has put into words some of the ideas that are important, to our family, to me as a mom, and as a Catholic. I love this about blogs, the great writers are out there and think more clearly, have better ideas and then say them better than you…but you can still find that ‘ping’ of recognition where you connect and think “yeah! she’s right, he’s good!”
Here is a snip of what I mean, by Danielle Bean and her most recent article:
“Each time, I am struck by the cultural significance of what it means to my kids to be raised a Catholic today. Because we are Catholic, we are interested in goings-on hundreds or even thousands of miles away. Because we are Catholic, our mother turns on the television in the middle of the day and wipes at her eyes when a white-cloaked, red-shoed man emerges from an airplane and sets foot on American soil.”
“Benedict first endeared himself to me three years ago when he admitted that he prayed not to be elected pope.
“At a certain point, I prayed to God, ‘Please don’t do this to me,'” he said. “Evidently, this time he didn’t listen.
Benedict’s vulnerable admission of reluctance to take on responsibility made him seem delightfully more human to me. I may not be charged with shepherding the entire Catholic Church into the next generation, but I do understand fearsome responsibility: My husband and I are charged with the shepherding of eight small
souls into the Church.
Following the pope’s lead, Catholic parents can accept awesome responsibility with confidence. We can do our best to teach, to love, to pray, and to be open to God’s work in our families. We can let go of the ulcer-inducing consciousness of our own deficiencies.”
So. Even the Pope had or has doubts. Maybe he didn’t feel up to the job, or doesn’t all the time. And yet, just by serving, as best he can, God surely does work through his deficiencies. He represents and serves the Church. This brings me comfort. God surely then, will work through my own deficiencies, “ulcer-inducing” and shocking in their abundance.
This is the mystery of the how or why it works. And yet it does. And it is a “fearsome responsibility” to presume to call myself Mom, and us family, for a sweet baby boy, sitting in a blue crib, across the world.
And I think it’s the trying. The stepping forward in faith, even if you can’t see the path or even the next steps ahead, it’s the taking of that next step. It can be scary. Daunting. Ulcer-inducing. But as our Pope shows us, as he physically travels far, across the world despite his 81 years, it’s the physical doing and acting out of our faith. Then God can work through us. That’s Catholic. That’s how it works. That’s faith. That’s family.
This adoption stuff can be daunting. Far travel. Far reaching. Uncertain. Long waits. Unknowns. It stretches our everything: our intellect, patience, faith, endurance, courage, and best of all, our hearts. But first we have to take that step. Again. And again.
For us, this time, we are stepping far. To Ethiopia. Stepping, flying, to our Tariku.
Go. Read. It doesn’t take long. Danielle is great.
I might go shopping for some red shoes!
Photo courtesy of Knight of Columbus