Simeon’s Passion prophecy becomes quite specific…the contradiction against the Son is also directed against the mother and it cuts her to the heart. For her, the Cross of radical contradiction becomes the sword that pierces her soul. From Mary we can learn that what true com-passion is: quite unsentimentally assuming the sufferings of others as one’s own. — Pope Benedict XVI
In 2015, my wife Karen and I went to Chile to visit our daughter E1 and her partner, P. They live in a little town about an hour’s drive out of Santiago, the capital of Chile.
After we booked our flights, E1 announced that she was pregnant. She’d be about halfway through her pregnancy by the time we arrived. So that added an extra dimension to our journey.
A few days after we arrived, we went into Santiago to meet P’s family. P stopped the car on a side street, a mixture of houses and small office buildings. E1 told us that they had some business there and invited us to come up to the first-floor office they were going to.
It didn’t take us long to realise that we were in a radiologist’s place, and that E1 was having an ultrasound. Fair enough, I thought—she’s killing two birds with one stone, fitting the family get-together and the ultrasound into the same visit. We’d wait.
When it came time for E1 to go in, she waved us to come in too. It was a total surprise. When we saw this little human inside our daughter, K and I just fell in love with her. Oh yes, and we learnt that day that E1 was having a girl. Her name would be E2.
That was over two years ago now, and now E2 is our Chilean–Australian granddaughter. She doesn’t know it yet, but she is growing up bilingual. She is learning Spanish and English words for things. In time, her brain will sort it all out and she’ll be fluent in both languages.