>Who’da thunk it? Published!

>Ok, I wasn’t sure it was true but I guess it’s out now and so it is.
Now I have to head to the market and go buy a copy to see it in my own hands…
I have a tiny piece in this month’s issue of Adoptive Families Magazine!
Whod’a thunk it?
Not me. (Ok, they told me about it but still, ya never know till ya know, ya know?)

But of course I want you all to go out and buy copies too so that they will know that people want to read about all this stuff…I’m on p. 17 under my real name, Michele Gautsch, and it’s just a little thing which is good so I don’t get the big head.  But even so.  It’s real and my first and only real world writing.
Best not to make a habit of that….I”m sure.
But go get a copy, ok!?
Fun way to start the week.

>Turn-Keys: Prayer


I’ve written a number of posts on turn-keys in adoption. {Enough of them that if you want to go back and check them out (and please do!)  it’s probably easiest to do a search on the phrase “turn key.” }
Here is another one that I’ve been thinking about for awhile but have hesitated to post because many of you will scoff or immediately click away.  It’s not out of character for me and for this little blog but it’s not always a popular subject.  But, regardless, it’s integral to me, this blog, and this post.

So, here goes:
This turn-key is about prayer.
If you are parenting a kid from hard places, or an older child new-ish to your family, or yes of course, any of your kids…..prayer is simply key.  A turn-key.  Perhaps THE turn-key.
But it’s not nearly so pat or simple as you might presume.

I think prayer works as a super skeleton turn-key in that it unlocks that attachment in both directions.  Read that again.  Prayer helps the bonding and attachment and healing, in both, or all directions.
No surprise that, eh?

I prayed novenas to bring our Marta home.
I prayed novenas after Marta was home to help us grow through those difficult first months.
I prayed the rosary, every day, for over a year, to help bring Marta home – to help her heal from her TB, to help us have the faith and courage to go get her.
I prayed the rosary most days, but not all, after she got home; and am back at it now, more diligently again.
Others, friends and family, have and do pray the rosary then and now, on behalf of our girl, and me.
I don’t of this praying of mine to say I’m all that. Because I’m so not, if anything it reflects how low I can go, and how great my need is. Ever.
But I put this out there to say that ALL of these prayers, and the intentional action of doing them, have carried us to this Now.
I can’t even begin to imagine trying to undertake this without all that prayer, those rosaries, those novenas, the Mass.
{I should also insert my a declaration of my endless bottomless gratitude for all of you who have prayed on our behalf, you know who you are, and oh, my, thank you and please don’t stop!} 

But another important angle in all this is Marta’s part in those prayers.
We have had to teach Marta how to pray, these prayers.
Well, we haven’t had to teach her, but she wanted to be taught.
Even before she had/has the language sufficient to say the prayers in full, still, she understood immediately that this was prayer that she could do with us.  It was similar enough to some of her Ethiopian Orthodox prayers that she could feel a bit of familiarity.
The Mass worked the same way for her.
Marta, from the first day we met her in Addis, has asked us to go to church, to Mass, to pray.

She asks to pray rosaries with me, with us, even though she still doesn’t have all the words down yet.  She asks to go to Mass, every chance she can get (Which is really every day, Mass is a daily event in the Catholic Church, thanks be to God).   She doesn’t get to go EVERY day, but she goes every day we can get her there, of her own volition.
Because she sees that we value this, she can hold onto one of the deep values from her life before us.  She can even grow it into deeper faith and understanding, of faith, of family, of what it means to love….and that’s just pure gift to us all.

More, when  you pray for someone for a year, or every single day…you cannot help but attach to them, to some degree.  The point of prayer is not that WE transform God’s mind, rather it’s that the praying transforms our hearts.

 Prayer, praying, and especially praying together, however rudimentary, transforms each of us little by little into a closer image of God.  And as God is love, that is precisely what we need in this hard road of older child adoption and attaching and healing from hard places.
I need to transform my stony heart into God’s heart, big enough to love someone, all ones, who cannot love me back, not really.
She needs to learn to open her heart to love and trust this new family, letting God himself in more and more by love.

Praying brings us to common ground.
It’s no longer our big old established family and her small tiny new hurting self; it’s each of us, opening our heart’s to love.
Prayer is the key to that door.
It’s a familiar, well worn key….but it’s a golden turn-key.
Because that familiarity, that common ground of praying as a family, WITH her, FOR her but with her, has been a huge, gigantic, encompassing tool for her to find her way to us and us to her.

As prayer should, when it’s at it’s very best, it brings us home.

>What’s in a name?

>Or should I ask, what’s in a chair?
Who’s in a chair?
Sounds like it’s leaning towards that old “Who’s on First?” schtick, but not.  So not.

Ok, you guessed it: Peter!
Cephas, The Rock!
It’s the feast of the Chair of St. Peter.
Which isn’t really about that cool looking chair above, though it is and it isn’t….
It’s all about Matthew 16:13-20, you know:

“….Christ says, “Who do they say that I am?” “Who do you say that I am?” and “Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 
So Christ Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.

And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church,  and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
El Greco, St Peter, Monasterio di San Lorenzo

You know, that’s some powerful renaming there.  And this feast helps us remember that God himself, in Christ set up his church on earth on the Rock, on Cephas, on Peter.  But it’s not really just on the man.  Because he was a MAN, and was gonna die in the normal course of events, no? Of course, so it’s also the seat, his seat, his Chair, if you will.  Just like there can be presidents’ in succession, there are the successor to Peter, the Bishop of Rome, in succession as well.  It’s a cool system, no surprise.  
So, that’s some chair.  
And the division and strife we have now and that is our very human nature, and  has been with us for centuries, is not what it’s meant to be.  Just saying.  

Happy Feast Day of the Chair of St. Peter….to our Pope! 

>Missing Monday

>So, it’s Monday again, already and I guess I’m not quite ready for it.

Dragging myself into the dawn and the day. 
I don’t know if it’s the gloom of the incoming rain or if it’s the lingering of the bugs in the house or just my old age and moody nature, but this morning I’m dragging and moody.

I miss my boys.

So, what I do, and even coffeedoc does, when we miss our boys is torture ourselves somewhat by listening to their music.  Sometimes.  Sometimes I can’t even bring  myself to do it.
But today, I want to hear Chris sing.
So you get to as well.

This was from a year or so ago, my Chris is on the keyboard, his pals are terrific too.
A bit melancholy Monday….

>Wit’s End


So, I was lying in bed last night awake…and my mind wandered as minds are wont to do in the wee hours of the night.
I decided that it might be prudent to do a small wit check on my blog now and then.
What’s that?
Am I going to tell a joke periodically to see if I’m still, or ever, funny?
Um, no.
I crack myself up, don’t get me wrong, but I”m not sure that translates into blogdom.

Nope, I’m talking about that whole concept of “keeping my wit’s about me.”
Yeah, you other middle aged gals, you know what I’m talking about.
Yup, I’m talking about losing my wits, my ability to be sharp.
Yuh, I see you Jon and Chris, I see you nodding…..see, this is what I’m talking about.

I’m 48, I know, how’d that happen?
And, I have a fear, based on nothing of substance, that I’m gonna lose my mind, or at least my sharpness. My folks are in their very late 70’s and still sharp as ever.
You would think this would reassure me, and it does to a small degree.
But I’ve never done anything the easy way and so I know, in those wee hours of the morning, that it would hold to form that I would be the one of my five sibs to end up with early onset gaps.
Yeah, it’s a pride thing to be sure; I have always been the queen of multitasking and juggling many things.  I still do all that but ever so much more poorly.
So. It could happen.
It might already be happening (hush boys).
Now I like to think that those little mishaps of oh, not recalling the kids names properly, or remembering where I set down my keys phone sunglasses pens paper book ipad glasses keys phone are normal…
But when I find them in the fridge (hush boys) or on my head then it’s a whispered worry.
It would be a clanging worry but it seems I’m losing my hearing a bit too.

Tom says I’m just distracted and not focusing.
God bless that man I love him.
But I read this book and it put the irrational fear of losing my mind right in the forefront…until I forgot about it.

So, now and then I think I might be posting about this, and other sundry sagging things about aging.
Because it pops randomly into my mind, until I forget.
Which means I want to catch it when it passes through.
You youngsters will probably want to skip these posts as they pop up; because first they will bore you but second they might scare  you.  It’s not pretty, aging.  It’s a heel dragging slide downhill, physically speaking.  Sure, the tradeoff in contentment and wisdom is worth it, etc etc….but even so……those wee hours of the morning can be a worry.
So, I’m doing a check now and then, a little note to compare notes; to see if I’m at wit’s end….and not the “end of my rope” version either.  We all know I hang on to that rope with a white knuckle grip anyhow, that’s not any news.
But a systems check? Always worth it….
Think I’ll go do a crossword now.
Words with Friends, anyone??

>The Race Card

>She did it.
My daughter, she played the race card.
I guess I knew it was coming.
And it’s not like we haven’t had all the usual discussions over the years, comparing skin tones, talking about history and social aspects of racism historically and now, current events etc…
So I was kinda hoping, in my heart of hearts, to get a “bie,” a pass, on this particular, barbed, targeted lob.
Oh foolish me.
Because this is part of, a huge part of, transracial adoption.
Some will argue that it shouldn’t be, that we should be ‘colorblind.’
To which I say, “Baloney.”
You can’t be colorblind if you have a multiracial family.
You shouldn’t be colorblind any way; but you sure better not be if you are raising a family of many hues.
Because if you are a white mom and are raising kids who have skin color that is different: brown, nutmeg, mahogany, ebony, dark, light, pink….whatever…..then you have to deal.

It’s easy to deal with when they are little and adorable and just so darn cute.
But, what’s so easy to ignore is the looming fact that kids grow up, into the people they are meant to be, and if you have a brown skinned baby, that person is going to be a brown skinned teen and adult.
As they should and will.  
And then you are going to, not might, not could, but you WILL get to deal with a teen that looks different than you.
Overstated, you think?
Think again.
It might seem like nothing, when that teen is still a baby or toddler and looks different than  you.
It might thrillingly radical or like you are making a stand for something, that we are all God’s children and such.  Well, yah…….
And might not seem like a big deal since you loooong ago, as a wee one, knit this now teen into your heart and soul and very fiber of your being and she’s just your kid who has a messy room and hates math but makes you laugh with the way she shuffles in to say goodnight.
But this teen is gonna be a teen with teen attitudes and fussing and pushing boundaries and all the usual teen standard issue, expected, and even on some levels necessary, drama.
But this teen, she’s got a little extra ammunition.
And if you don’t know it yet, you will soon enough…but teens, they like to stockpile what they can -ammunition – to lob at you when they are irritated or angry or feel like they are being unjustly asked to do, oh, anything.  Like dishes or homework or chores or ________ (insert request here).

Our kids are savvy.
By which I mean, kids these days, are very savvy and tuned in to the culture at large.
I swear they have a usb port somewhere on their person that is a direct connection to the http://www.worldOteendom……that feeds them a constant stream of teen and/or early adult content somehow.
This is to say that, no matter how limited and guarded you think you are about keeping your kids sheltered from the pervasive cultural attitudes that float about, from the net, from tv maybe, from MTV, whatever….some of it does drift in, more than you realize.

This teen, she’s actually a PREteen.
But she knows enough to know she could play the race card, she could give it a try if she’s angry.
So she did.
I asked her to fold her laundry.
I know!
She was so angry that she stomped and shouted at me, “Just because I am black doesn’t make me your slave.”
What?” I said.
You heard me,” she said, arms crossed glaring.
Nice try,” I said. And I should’a then just probably repeated, “So, fold your laundry please now,” and walked away.
But I”m not that good.
So, I said, instead, “Come with me.
And we went to talk to the cool headed Dad, who never really gets his buttons pushed by the girls (the boys did that, not so much the girls…you can see the fun we have ahead with four teen girls at home now, but I digress).  

I made her repeat her declaration; mumbled this time.
He gazed at her and said, “Nice try.”
Then he said, calmly and well, “You are our daughter. Ever. Period. You are the daughter I walked the floors with when you were swaddled.   You are the daughter we have kissed and fed and tickled and hauled to sports and schools and kissed your booboos and wiped your tears.  You are the daughter who is part of the team of this family and who has responsibilities because you are old enough to have them, along with the privileges that go along with that too.  You have brown skin and I have white skin and God gave you to us as our daughter, and us to you as parents.”
Now, please go fold your laundry.”

And so she did.
The race card.
Prepare for it.
It’s gonna happen.
This won’t be the last time, I’m quite sure.
Maybe it shouldn’t even be, maybe I shouldn’t wish for it to be the last time.
I write this post not to show that we did any good job with this fired lob.
I’m sure we could’a should’a handled it better and/or differently.
I write this post because so many families now have adopted transracially, and so many of those families still have only smalls.
It’s easy to forget or dismiss the reality that you are charged with raising every child to adulthood, not just into kindergarden and we are charged with teaching them how to navigate this world as a person of color.
And it’s not a nothing.
The world is not colorblind.
Not only should we as parents not be so, but we need to remember, always, that our kids are not either.

>Lourdes and Moms


from Basilica of Pius X, at Lourdes,
h/t: Contemplative Haven Blog

It’s the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.
Moms, she’s our patron, as always.
Read/pray the litany prayer below and remember how she, as a mom, cares and prays for us all:

Holy Mary, pray for us. 
Holy Mother of God, pray for us. 
Mother of Christ, pray for us. 
Mother of our Saviour, pray for us. 
Our Lady of Lourdes, help of Christians, pray for us. 
Our Lady of Lourdes, source of love, pray for us. 
Our Lady of Lourdes, mother of the poor, pray for us. 
Our Lady of Lourdes, mother of the handicapped, pray for us. 
Our Lady of Lourdes, mother of orphans, pray for us. 
Our Lady of Lourdes, mother of all children, pray for us. 
Our Lady of Lourdes, mother of all nations, pray for us. 
Our Lady of Lourdes, mother of the Church, pray for us. 
Our Lady of Lourdes, friend of the lonely, pray for us. 
Our Lady of Lourdes, comforter of those who mourn, pray for us. 
Our Lady of Lourdes, shelter of the homeless, pray for us. 
Our Lady of Lourdes, guide of travelers, pray for us. 
Our Lady of Lourdes, strength of the weak, pray for us. 
Our Lady of Lourdes, refuge of sinners, pray for us. 
Our Lady of Lourdes, comforter of the suffering, pray for us. 
Our Lady of Lourdes, help of the dying, pray for us. 
Queen of Heaven, pray for us. 
Queen of peace, pray for us

Happy Feast Day, moms!

>Just like a Sister


It’s the feast of St. Scholastica!
And I had planned on doing a little post on  her, because we are quite fond of her ’round here.  But Anchoress  beat me to it and I can’t top her.  So, I’m gonna send you over.  Go, read, it’s worth it.  Scholastica’s got that brother-sister dynamic DOWN.  Which makes me grin; another saint that is all too human, but even so, holy!

Here’s a snip…..Go

“Perhaps I just love thinking that she had “irritated” Benedict, as only a sister can irritate a brother.

“When the man of God saw that he could not get back to the monastery because of the lightning and thunder and the great flood of rain, he was irritated and began to complain: “May God have mercy on you, my sister. Why have you done this?” And she replied to him: “See, I asked you, and you would not listen to me. So I asked my Lord, and he has listened to me. Now then, go, if you can. Leave me, and go back to the monastery.” But unable to go outside, he stayed against his will in a place where he had been unwilling to stay on his own”

Go, read the post for yourself.  You’ll get a smile, especially if you’ve ever been a sister with a brother!



I was recently sent this book to read and review, go figure, and yeah it surprised me too that they approached me.  I guess they figured that we adoptive mom’s can relate…and we can; although we don’t always agree of course.
I think I was supposed to pound out this review in a much more timely manner, sorry Ms. O’Dwyer and publicist.  Life got in the way.  As a mom, much less an adoptive mom, I know you understand that.
However, in the spirit of ‘better late than never,” here it is:

I got the book in the mail, after promptly forgetting that they were sending it to me:
Mamalita, An Adoption Memoir, by Jessica O’Dwyer.

So, when I opened the mailer, it was a happy surprise; who wouldn’t be happy with a new book in the mail?  I got the pleasure of anticipating sitting down to read and hopefully savor this book.  Here is the jacket description:

Mamalita is the true story of an ordinary American woman’s quest to adopt a baby girl against almost insurmountable odds in Guatemala.”   

Now, to be honest, I wasn’t sure about this book to start.  Obviously, I am an adoptive mom and have adopted here in the states as well as internationally, from Ethiopia.  That makes my family a multiracial, multicultural blended up  mix of people.  It also makes me place adoption and adoption issues pretty high on my personal radar.  All this is to say that I had kind of tangentially followed the roller coaster of the adoption world in Guatemala over the  years, but from afar (no pun intended), and I was a little hesitant to read this memoir.  I feared a skewed perspective or an unfair or romanticized treatment of what was and is still an extremely complicated, layered, and challenging topic.  International adoption is not for the faint of heart, nor is it for the unscrupulous.   You must have hard eyes to see and hold a steady gaze at the roller coaster of process; making sure along the way that your desires are jiving with foundational ethics, preferably those laid out by the Hague Convention.

So, with that disclaimer and mindset, I began.  I found this book honest and compelling.  I didn’t find it a read that I wanted to shout to all my friends to go pick up, quick.  Because I was and still am kind of conflicted about it, the whole seamy side of adoption and the pervasiveness of it in Guatemala.  It took me a bit to come to a kind of reading rapport for the author, largely due to my aforementioned guard regarding Guatemalan adoptions.  However, as the story continued I found myself appreciating her honesty and the clear eyes she used to see and describe both the beauty and the hardships in Guatemalan adoption. 

Many of her feelings and lurches and loops are common ground within the adoption world; they mirror my own and most other mom’s passion and desperate need for information, control, and the worry as well as the exhilaration.  What I found most compelling was Ms O’Dwyer’s choice to move to Guatemala, to stay with her daughter and  make sure the process not only proceeded rather than stalled, but to find the cracks in the process, to get the paperwork done through the ever-changing officials, to track down her daughter’s birthmom.

Adoption is a system that can lend towards corruption; it only takes a few greedy unscrupulous souls to get involved.  This book exposes that seamy side and, as well, exposes how near we all can come to it, even unwittingly, if we but close our eyes with fatigue and temptation. O’Dwyer was willing to dump her facilitator, ask hard questions about her daughter’s story, and learn how to finish the job through the shifting channels, willing to live in country and care for her daughter as long as it took.  She didn’t live completely immersed in the culture, she was part of an oddball subculture of PAP’s, potential adoptive parents.  I’m not sure how she, as a white female foreigner, could have done anything different.  It’s not possible to blend in,  and O’Dwyer’s navigation of these tricky cross cultural waters are some of the most interesting parts of this book.  She came to a depth of appreciation for her daughter’s country and culture that few adoptive parents actually do; even as she missed her  home and life in the States and endured frustration and difficulties as a foreign woman, living alone. 

Mamalita is an honest, frank retelling of the Guatemalan adoption process: the good, the bad, the ugly. It is a book that might well engender some controversy in this heated climate of international adoption.  If only because of that, it is worth a read.   It shows us the near precipice where desire, desperation, and truth stand and take stock of each other. I still think about this book because it reveals the complexities of this difficult process, adoption, and it’s not a comfortable thing; nor should it be.  O’Dwyer shows us the heart of a mother, in this case, an adoptive mother and how she will literally go the distance and move the map of her home to go get her child.

>Saint for Darfur


Today is the Feast of St. Josephine Bakhita.
She was born in Darfur, Sudan and surely still offers prayers on behalf of her hurting homeland.
Here is the back of her prayer card, a short bio:


“I have given everything to my Master: He will take care of me… The best thing for us is not what we consider best, but what the Lord wants of us!”

St. Josephine Bakhita, pray for  us!

>Happy Birthday Little Man

>Ah my little man is seven now.
Anthony, seven…and yes, a little man.
He is a wild and rascally seven year old, as all self respecting seven year old boys should be.

Today has been much anticipated and planned for….
precise orders on dinner and dessert and pleas for specific gifts.
It didn’t land on the Super Bowl like some years (last year), which is just the pinnacle of birthdays in boydom…but it’s still just a great bright spot in the winter of February.
It puts a smile on my face, knowing this boy and celebrating this birthday:

Anthony, Little Man, you came to us at three months old.
And I think I fell in love with you the moment I saw your beautiful sweet face.

You’ve been making us laugh and roar ever since.
You have a heart of sugar spun gold: sweet and good.
But tempered with a mischievous bent and a instinctual swift dive for the goofy joke.

You are a loving boy with compassion built in.

You race through your world like a comet.
You run fast and hard,
jump high,
laugh loud and easily,
smile big,
think deeply,
chew happily,
stay up late,
sleep in hard,
snuggle close.

You have developed, this past year, a really cool artistic side.
You have a great ear for music and already are fun to listen to as you play on the piano.
You sing in the car when you’re happy; you did that as a toddler too and it’s one of my favorite things.
You have a great eye for drawing, with terrific attention to design and talent to draw what you are imagining.
You have an eye to really see the world around you; to notice the details with an artist’s appreciation.
This artistic blooming makes my art mom’s heart swell with happy.

You love to play hard.
But you also love to dress snappy.

You are the most dapper seven year old I’ve ever known.

You have a temper to beat the band; it is almost bigger than you are.
You are learning to slow down that firecracker temper and find the gentle underneath.
It will be many years of lessons there.
But you will learn it, it’s your nature.

You are so smart.
And this year you are taking off with your schoolwork.
You are becoming a terrific reader and that too makes your book loving mom proud.
Because reading is power and can open up the world for you.
You have big adventures ahead Little Man, I know it,

And so on this day, your birthday, you may be seven.
But I can still sing you your song from babyhood:
“Oh, my Anthony…
you’re the one for me.
I just love you so, 
never gonna let you go.”

Happy Happy Birthday Anthony!
We love you so!



It’s the Feast of the Presentation!
Also known as Candlemas.
(Known as Candlemas because at this Mass the candles for the year would be blessed…I love the tiny details, you know).
You may now, officially, take down all your Christmas decor, and the tree.
Yup, if you’re old school, this is when you take down the tree. Imagine!
Kinda cool though, really.  If you think that they must have had different ways of doing Christmas trees, or else all those homes would have gone up in flames by now.  But again, my mind wanders…

This feast takes place forty days after the birth of Christ; it’s the feast of his presentation in the temple.
I think about this event often, not only when I pray the fourth decade of the joyous mysteries of the rosary, but lately..well, all the time.  It’s that presenting your son to God thing.  Lots to think about there.
Mary, doing the dutiful Jewish mother thing of the era, brought her sweet swaddled baby to the temple, as required, in order to present him to the temple elders.  We all know the story: the old woman, Anna, was hanging out there and she came up to see Mary and the baby.  How often has this happened to us mom’s today, an old lady wants to come up close to see your little one?  All the time!

Rembrandt, “The Prophetess Anna”

But this old woman was a prophetess, and she told of the Messiah after seeing the babe Jesus:  

“There was a prophetess too, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher… she never left the temple serving God day . night with fasting and prayer. She came up just at that moment and began to praise God; and she spoke of the child to all who looked forward to the deliverance of Jerusalem.’       Luke 2:36-38

 Also in the temple, Simeon, too, got a look at the baby, and he broke into a prayer that the Church still prays every night:

Rembrandt. Simeon with the Christ Child in the Temple. c. 1666-69.

“Lord, now you let your servant go in peace; 

your word has been fulfilled.

My own eyes have seen the salvation which you have prepared in the sight of every people:

A light to reveal you to the nations and the glory of your people Israel.”

Simeon went on to tell Mary that her heart would be “pierced by a sword” after looking at the baby Jesus.
I’m pretty sure Mary’s heart ran cold right then and there and she held him tight to her chest.  I’m sure she was ready to grab Joseph and head out, maybe not, being without sin and filled with the Holy Spirit and all.  But I’m thinking her  mama-bear instinct would have still been roaring and she was ready to be done with this obligation. Or maybe that would just be me. Anyhow, all of a sudden, this regulation visit became a mini epiphany, again….and it leads us from Christmas and points us right down the barrel to Easter.  Which, if you think about it, must’a been how Mary had to live her life with this sweet son.  And it’s really how we are supposed to live ours.  Not that it’s so easy.

St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein) wrote beautifully about this feast.

The Christian mysteries are an indivisible whole. If we become immersed in one, we are led to all the others. Thus the way from Bethlehem leads inevitably to Golgotha, from the crib to the cross. When the blessed virgin brought the child to the temple, Simeon prophesied that her soul would be pierced by a sword, that this child was set for the fall and the resurrection of many, for a sign that would be contradicted. His prophecy announced the passion, the fight between light and darkness that already showed itself before the crib.

Happy Candlemas.  Lots to think about.