And Thy Own Soul a Sword Shall Pierce

14 Aug

We’re in the process of teaching our dear little Natalie how to fall asleep on her own this week. The “no-cry” solutions weren’t working, and I would literally have a panic attack when I let her “cry it out” by herself. We chose a middle-of-the-road approach detailed in The Sleep Lady’s Good Night Sleep Tight. There are tears involved, but mom or dad stays with the baby, comforts her with words and touch, and picks her up if she gets really upset.

Last night was our first night, and it was hard. I sat next to her crib for an hour, listening to about 40 minutes of heart wrenching sobs before she finally fell asleep. I was a total mess afterwards, seriously second guessed our approach, and entertained some pretty ludicrous thoughts. I’ll just nurse her to sleep for the rest of her life! It’ll be fine! I don’t mind!

I had a pit in my stomach all through dinner tonight, knowing that I was going to have to put my sweet babe through so much sadness again. At the end of our bedtime routine, I laid her down and braced myself for the tears. She began some gentle protests, but stayed calm.

Through the whimpering, God placed on my heart the prophecy of Simeon from Luke 2. After the prophet remembered God’s promise of his seeing the Messiah before his death, Simeon turns to Mary and Joseph:

And his father and mother were wondering at those things which were spoken concerning [Jesus]. And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary his mother: Behold this child is set for the fall, and for the resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted; And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed.

My heart ached to end Natalie’s suffering last night. How much more must Mary have trembled with grief to witness the crucifixion.

I think I have a new appreciation for the sorrows that Mary accepted with her fiat to Gabriel. She is a beautiful help to all women out there who endure heartache and suffering. I love her and the Church that seeks to follow her example.

-Erica

P.S.- She fell asleep after 15 minutes. No tears! (And thanks to Charles for being so supportive in all this!)

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