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What Divine event ever takes place without Satan trying to stick his nose into it ! But thanks be to God he is not God's equal. Restrained by the command, "So far and NO FARTHER", the evil one still operates, but with limits. In the icon of Christ's birth we usually see Mary gazing contemplatively, as if she is deeply pondering what this birth means for her and for her people. She has hints, but God reveals things in a measured way, like an opening rose. She is STILL seeing this mystery revealed in her heart - in Heaven! Joseph is usually seen by himself, off in a corner being tempted by an old man (guess who !) to doubt the baby Jesus is truly the Christ, and that perhaps it is all a hoax after all. He receives Mary as his spouse, believing the Holy Spirit, but does not escape the devil's question, "Did God really say that"? Shades of the garden of Eden! So they come to nest in our own hearts in this mystery....contemplation, and at some point, doubt. They are players in our world of faith. What did Jesus say to Peter, realizing the other disciples would be shaken by doubts when the cross rose on Calvery? He told Peter that when he was healed by a restored faith, that he should strengthen the others. Doubt comes to try our faith, and ultimately to strengthen it...and if we stand, insight that affirms our faith usually folllows. What a deep well we drink from here !

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