Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed, so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed – and a sword will pierce your own soul too. – Luke 2:34,35
This poem by Carol Ann Duffy (inspired by the Max Ernst painting at the bottom of this page, from which this copy of the poem is taken) is probably wildly heretical in any number of ways, but (giving Duffy due allowance under her poetic licence) it captures the alarming nature of the incarnation, the decidedly mixed blessing of being the mother of the incarnate God:
The Virgin Punishing the Infant
He spoke early. Not the goo goo goo of infancy,
but I am God. Joseph kept away, carving himself
a silent Pinocchio out in the workshed. He said
he was a simple man and hadn’t dreamed of this.
She grew anxious in that second year, would stare
at stars saying Gabriel, Gabriel. Your guess.
The village gossiped in the sun. The child was solitary,
his wide and solemn eyes could fill your head.
After he walked, our normal children crawled. Our wives
were first resentful, then superior. Mary’s child
would bring her sorrow … better far to have a son
who gurgled nonsense at your breast. Googoo. Googoo.
But I am God. We heard him through the window,
heard the smacks which made us peep. What we saw
was commonplace enough. But afterwards, we wondered
why the infant did not cry, why the Mother did.