Here they are: cuttings from my notes, readings and observations about Guadalupe.
First a wondering I’ve been carrying with me the last few weeks–I see her face, her robe, her image in so many places–on a garage wall, tattooed on the arms of people I meet in the shelter, on key chains, on charms people wear around their neck. Why? What are people saying? Why is she there?
Nancy Pineda Madrid says, “Having her with us is a way to feel more secure, more confident in life, especially when we have problems or are in danger.”
Historian Maria Luisa Ruiz comments,”The priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla used the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe as their standard for the battles of independence. During the Mexican revolution her image was also used by Emiliano Zapata and other revolutionaries. And today, almost 500 years later, her presence remains important as it inspires political activism.
You often find her image tattooed on soldiers and on people in prison. She offers them protection.
In a sermon I gave two years ago, I commented on her work of Hallowing: “Hallowing a scruffy desert hill filling it with flowers and with song/hallowing an indian peasant making him a bearer of God’s word/even hallowing a bishop and the sycophants surrounding him that they might learn to love as they are loved.” (SAH, Dec. 9, 2012)
From “Untie the Strong Woman: Blessed Mother’s Immaculate Love for the Wild Soul” by Clarisa Pinkola Estes “Our Lady grows her strongest roses in the earthy ground where she is most needed–amongst horns honking, ambulances careening, children crying out alternatively in joy and in pain, all the people groaning and dancing and making love, the complete trochimochi,every which way, of humanity whose sings, sounds, works and actions are part of the exact basis for the harmonious cacophony–the music of the cosmos….
“She appears in times that are not calm and in clouds of dust that are not particularly picturesque. She comes skidding to a sudden stop in dark cars on even darker gravel roads. She stands in the midst of broken glass at curbs. She walks in every street, stands at every street corner, even those where it seems that, as my grandmother Querida used to say, ‘Maybe even God Herself ought to be cautious.’….
“She will appear to you as much in the midst of noise, upheaval and times when we feel the sky is falling as when there is peace all around, at least in one’s own little universe–for she is often most present whenever there is most need for order, strength, endurance, a new idea, fierceness, hope and vitality.”
Bishop Eduardo Pironio of Argentina “to Our Lady of America” “Today we pray to you for Latin America/the continent that you visit/with your bare feet/yet offering the richness/of the Child you carry in your arms/A poor child, who makes us rich/An enslaved child, who sets us free./Virgin of hope:/An awakened America./We want to journey forth in hope./Mother of the poor,/there is much misery among us./Material bread is lacking/in many homes./The bread of truth is lacking/In many minds/The bread of love is lacking/In many persons/The bread of the lord is lacking/in many peoples/You know the poverty;you lived it./Give us the soul of the poor in order to be happy./But alleviate the misery of the bodies/and tear out from the hearts of so many people/that selfishness that impoverishes….”
Not Sure where this is from“There is no reason we should not sing. Standing here, among all the broken pieces of what we expected, what we thought should have happened, the way it was supposed to be, here in the empty places of our lives, here in the shadow of our own mortality, looking out into the unseen tomorrow. There is no reason we should not sing, and keep singing, until the flowers start to grow, until the mind begins to clear, until the heart of a thousand children beats ever so much stronger, and the angels in far off heaven stop and smile, thinking? they are at it again, they are still singing, all will be well, as long as they can keep singing.”
David Lose on the Songs of Advent: Comments on the powerful songs in Luke (Advent 3, 2012)
Virgil Elizondo, in “Mother of the New Creation” notes that Guadalupe is part of an image-word that is experience through the beauty of flor y canto, fundamental symbols of the Nahuatal culture used to connote truth or the presence of the sacred. (118)
Goizueta in Caminemos con Jesus says about Guadalupe who “unveils the face of subjects who comprise the underside of history” that her face “is not only a sacramental sign of the past but also a sacramental sign of the present. She’s not only one of the indigenous but also one with the Latinas/Latinos.” (45)
Protestant theologian Maxwell Johnson in American Magnificat: Protestants on Mary of Guadalupe tells the story of the December day when a Latino pizza man came to his house. It was Advent and on his front door, Johnson had draped a banner of Guadalupe. As he was leaving, that young delivery man nodded to the banner and said, “It’s beautiful.” Then he added, “She’s my mom.” (3)
Those who love her call her, “La Virgen Morenita” (our dear dark virgin)
Guadalupe comes proclaiming Good News to a people whose world was quickly being destroyed (Eduardo Fernandez, S.J.)
An Aztec poet writes, “We are crushed to the ground; we lie in ruins.”
Fernandez talks about a “Crazy God who turns everything upside down raising up the lowly and putting down the mighty”
He goes on to talk about the people who hold Guadalupe most dear, the people whom she comforts–“the little people of God, those who go unseen, the garment workers, immigrants”
Guadalupe spoke in the language of the conquered and sought a temple built so she could “communicate all her love, compassion, help and defense to all the inhabitants of this land…to hear their lamentations and remedy their miseries, pain and suffering.”
Elizondo sees Guadalupe as “the beginning of a new creation, the mother of a new humanity and the manifestation of the femininity of God–a figure offering unlimited possibilities for creative and liberating reflection”( xi)
“all persons are called to conversion from that which imprisons them and robs them of the fullness of life; from that which enslaves them and keeps them from being children of God; from that which blinds them from appreciating themselves and others as God appreciates them.” (86)
“at Teypeyac the church is called to a deep metanoia…to a sinless surrender to the warp of God, who continues to come through the poor and the simple, who are hurting and crying, the crucified and the dying.” (97)
“according to the Guadalupen vision, truth exists in the relational, the interconnectedness, the beautiful and the melodic…flor y canto” (116)