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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Happy Feast Day, Virgen de Guadalupe, We Need You More Than Ever

In villages all across Mexico, high in the mountains, in the desert and in the jungles of the coasts, people awoke this morning to honor the virgencita, Our Lady of Guadalupe. Many are doing the same in the Southwest, in towns and cities.

The thought of this makes me happy inside. I like to imagine the many reasons we are getting up early on her feast day to celebrate. Some of us to give thanks for her help and guidance every day of the year's that's ending. Some of us to pray for a special reason for her protection and care. Some of us to mark the season, the calendar's march forward with a day of worship and thanksgiving; a tradition that repeats without our thinking of it like a heartbeat, a childhood rhyme or story that has become a part of who we are.

Here are the elements: Tonantzin, corn goddess of the Azteca; Juan Diego a peasant traveling to the city for medicine for his ailing grandfather; the apparition of the Virgin on the desert hill at Tepeyac; Juan's refusal to take the Virgin's request for the construction of a church to the bishop; Juan's avoidance of the Virgin; At the third request, Juan accepts her request and carries roses in his tilma to the bishop; the miracle, the tilma transformed from shirt to her delicate image, hands in prayer, standing upon a half moon, drafted into duty to persuade a new nation into Christianity.

Or here is another view. Was the Virgen drafted to emerge yet again?

Was her transformation from Azteca indigenous to Western ideal of beauty simply another way of revealing herself? Of providing us with protection, guidance and hope that fire up our spirits, lead us to do "important work" in the words of Seth Godin?

Have we people in the Americas, and also in Africa, Asia, Europe, the regions of China, India, the Arab world, everywhere we live on this chance planet, stepped forward to mark the end of the seasons for centuries before centuries were counted, to worship our protectors and providers?

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