Our Lady of Guadalupe

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Our Lady of Guadalupe

Post by UncleBob » Sat Dec 12, 2009 8:44 am

Last night I went to the "Fiesta de Nuestros Senora de Guadalupe" at a local Catholic church. The celebration followed a parade through the streets with the faithful carrying an image of the Virgin de Guadalupe and was in Spanish. Now, my Spanish is usually limited to reading but the Padre spoke slowly and enunciated clearly so I found that I could follow along. My girlfriend is Latina and she kept my translations honest.

I found the whole celebration fascinating! The Padre told anecdotes about how the Virgin first appeared, how "a doctor" heard the heart beats of a child in the statue of the Virgin (and therefore how she is a real person), and how the statue had a temperature of 98.1 F. There was mariachi worship music - including an excellent version of "Ave Maria" to mariachi - and the Bishop conducted the Eucharist.

Que Viva!
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Post by JohnnyMcPiperson » Sat Dec 12, 2009 6:10 pm

I have some interesting literature on the Lady of Guadeloupe I'll have to see if I can find it for you...

Edit- found a few of the websites my prof provided when we were studying this subject.

http://www.mexconnect.com/articles/2599 ... n-indigena

http://www.sancta.org/intro.html

http://www.cancunsteve.com/guadalupe.htm

http://www.sancta.org/juandiego.html

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_ ... co_en.html

http://www.vatican.va/news_services/lit ... go_en.html

She is credited to be the Mexican version of the Virgin Mary, showing that the Catholic faith was not just the faith of the white man, but that the Virgin Mary was relevant to the Aztecs as well. The tradition of the Statue of the Virgin of Guadeloupe bears some parallels to mythology involving statues of Aztec gods who come alive like the story of Chac Mool. The Catholics when they began to evangelize the Indians they would often simply take their native religion and assign saints to take the place of the God's they worshiped. The Aztecs were used to having physical statues to worship, to this day they tend to worship and pray to idols of Virgins and Saints. Sorry if this is too much information, I've just been studying this stuff kind of in depth lately so it's on the brain.
Last edited by JohnnyMcPiperson on Sat Dec 12, 2009 6:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by JohnnyMcPiperson » Sat Dec 12, 2009 6:32 pm

Here is an excerpt of the fictional story of Chac Mool if you would like to read it, I found it to be fascinating as it relates to the author's view of Latin America and it's connection to it's ancient religious heritage. This is relevant to your original post because it has infiltrated the catholic faith in Central and South America in the form of Synchrotism. Anyway, you may find it interesting as I did.

Not too long ago, Filiberto drowned and died in Acapulco. It happened during Easter Week.
Manner and date of death both significant
Talpa

Even though he was fired from his job in the secretariat, Filiberto could not resist the bureaucratic temptation of going to the German pension (a room to rent) like every year, eat the choucrout sweetened by the sweat of the tropical kitchen, dance on Saturday to the glory of La Quebrada, and feel like “known people” in the dark anonymous Playa de Hornos. Clearly, we know that through his youth he had swum great, but now that he reached his forties, it could easily be noticed he has deteriorated. But to try to swim such a long stretch—and at midnight no less!
What might cause him to attempt something so dangerous?

Frau Muller did not allow to such an old customer wait—in the pension; in the contrary, that night a dance was arranged in the suffocated terrace, while Filiberto waited, paled in his casket, for the morning truck of the terminal.
Unusual circumstances force him to wait.

He passed accompanied by fruit boxes and bales the first night of his new life. When I arrived early to guard the shipment of the coffin, Filiberto was under a burial mound of coconuts. The driver asked to quickly accommodate him in the canopy and cover him with canvas, so the passengers would not be scared, and hope we didn’t bring back luck for the trip.
Covered with coconuts, what ignominy!

We left Acapulco with the breeze. The heat and the light were not felt and seen until we approached Tierra Colorada. During breakfast served with eggs and sausages, I opened Filiberto’s briefcase which was picked up the day before along with his other belongings in Muller’s pension. Two hundred dollars, an old newspaper from Mexico, pieces of lottery, a one way ticket – one way only?—, a cheap notebook with grid pages and covers of marble-colored paper.
The dead have no privacy
One-way ticket?

I decided to risk reading the notebook, despite the curves, the stench of vomit, and a certain natural respect for the private life of my friend who had passed away. I think of –this is how it started—our daily labor in the office; maybe, he knew why he fell into a downward trend, forgetting his obligations, why he ordered and dictated functions that had no sense, no number, not even an effective vote to support his actions. Anyway he was fired, the pension forgotten—due to a lack of respect for those above him.
The notebook reveals what had happened but does not yet tell why.

FROM THE NOTEBOOK THE NARRATOR READS THE WORDS OF FILIBERTO
“Today I went to arrange the matter of my pension. The lawyer was extremely kind. I left so happy I decided to spend five pesos to buy a coffee.
Why significant?
It was the same place where we used to go when we were young and to the one I no longer visit. It reminds me of when I was twenty years old, and I could afford to give myself a more luxurious life than now being forty.
Is this typical?
Why would he spend this money after being fired
THE SCENT OF A WOMAN

Back then we were all following the same plan; we would have strongly rejected anyone’s pejorative opinion towards our the works of our colleagues—in fact we did battle with those who argued about the low extraction or lack of elegance of our co-workers. I knew that many (maybe the poor people) would reach very high, and here in school lasting friends were going to forge friendships that would endure the greatest hardships. No, it was not like that. There were no rules.
Once, a bright future seemed possible

Many of the humble and poor remained there; many others went higher in the middle of what we considered a fervent and kind gathering of workers. Others, we seemed to promise everything only made it half way, devastated by an extracurricular test, isolated by an invisible chasm between the victorious and the ones who did not accomplished anything. Nevertheless, today I sat in the modernized chairs again – there is also the soda fountain almost as a barricade against invasion—and I pretended to read records. I saw many people. Some had changed, some forgettable, others with a fresh touch of the neon light, and prosperous. The same city and an almost unrecognized coffee they had been engraving a different rhythm to my own. They did not recognize me anymore, or at least they did not want to recognize me. Suddenly—one or two—a thick and quick hand right over my shoulder. Good bye old man, how is it going? Between them and me could be seen the eighteen holes of the Country Club. I concealed myself in the reports. It passed through my mind the memory of a parade of the years of great illusions, of the happy predictions, and all the omissions that prevented them from been achieved. I felt the anxiety of not being able to place my fingers in the past to put all the pieces together of an abandoned puzzle. The toy box had been forgotten, and anyway who will know where the soldiers made of lead, the helmets, and the wooden swords were. The customs were so loved, but were nothing more than that. However, there was discipline, certainty, and attachment to responsibility. Was it enough or an excess? I left no occasion, to jump into the memory of Rilke. Death has to be the great reward to youthful adventure. Young people, we need to depart with all of our secrets. Today, I would not need to turn my sight back to the cities of salt. Five pesos? Two for the tip.
No longer one of them
Earlier--Happy predictions, coupled with the comfort of responsibility

Pepe (a friend of Filiberto), aside from his passion for commercial law, likes to theorize. He saw me coming out of the Cathedral, and we accompanied each other to the Palace. He is not too conceited, but it was not even half a block when he had to develop a theory. If I were not Mexican I would not worship Christ, and— the evidence can be seen. The Spanish arrive and they propose that you worship one dead God made into a blood clot, with the sides wounded nailed to a cross. Sacrificed, brought as an offering.
Rather than being God’s will, his faith is merely the accidental outcome of Latin America’s having been conquered by Spaniards.

How natural is it to accept a closer feeling to your whole ceremony, and your whole life?...On the other hand, if Mexico would have been conquered by Buddhists or Muslims. It is not possible that our Indians would show reverence to an individual who died of indigestion. But a God for whom it is not enough to be sacrificed for, and still he goes to have his heart taken away. Darn, Check mate to Huitzilopochtli! Christianity in its bleeding, warm sense of sacrifice and liturgy, it becomes a natural extension of the original Indian religion. Christians are rejected while in the other hand they demonstrate their aspects of kindness and love. All Mexico is all about that: you have to kill men in order to believe in them.
Christ, sacrificed himself
Huitzilopotchli--__required that others be sacrificed for him (Huitzilopotchli)

Pepe knew my enthusiasm from my youth for certain shapes of the Mexican Indian art. I collect statuettes, idols, and pots and pans (cacharros). I would spend my weekends in Tlaxcala, or in Teotihuacan. Could this be the reason why he liked me to associate to Mexican art all these theories that he elaborated. By the way, I have been looking for a reasonable image of the Chac Mool for a long time, and today Pepe informed me from a place in the Lagunilla(small lagoon) where they sell one of stone and it seems cheap. I will be going there on Sunday.
The Indian culture’s connection to Pepe’s theorizing
The art as representing the values of the culture (Rubenesque [sp] women)

“As a way of disrupting the work process, a funny man painted red the water in the large decanter in the office. I had to report him to the Director, who only laughed out loud. The guilty one has used this situation to create sarcasm by using my name the whole day, while everyone stands around the water. Ch….!”
I don’t understand this detail.
Today is Sunday and I will take this opportunity to go to Lagunilla. I found the Chac Mool in the store Pepe had told me about. It is a marvelous piece, of natural size, and even though the merchant assures its originality, I doubt it. (Irony of situation) The stone is a common one, but it does not diminish the elegance of its posture or the strength of the stone. http://www.dallas.net/~lalo/tula2.html
The shady salesman has covered the stomach with tomato sauce to convince tourists of the bloody authenticity of the sculpture.
“Transporting it back to my house cost me more than the purchase, but it is now here. For now it will remain in the basement while I reorganize my trophy room to make space where it will fit. These figures need vertical and direct sunlight (failure to understand the culture).

That was his element and condition. It loses a lot of meaning in the darkness of the basement when it looks like a simple package that is fading out. Its grimace seems to reproach me for denying it light. The merchant had a flashlight exactly vertical to the sculpture, which trimmed all the edges, and gave a nicer expression to my Chac Mool. It will be necessary to follow his example.”
“I woke up with a broken pipe. Unaware I let the water from the kitchen run, and it overflowed. It ran through the floors and reached down to the basement without my knowledge of it. The dampness doesn’t bother Chac Mool, but my luggage suffered, and all of this on a work day. It has obligated me to arrive late to the office.”
Calamities related to water

“They finally came to fix the pipe. The suitcases were crooked, and the Chac Mool had slime in the base”.
“I woke up at one a.m.; I heard a terrible groan. I thought of robbers. It was pure imagination”.
“The nocturnal laments have continued, but I do not know to what can they be attributed to, but I am nervous. And to make it worse, the pipe broke again, and the rainfall has soaked through, overflowing the basement.”
“The plumber is not coming, and I am desperate. And it’s perhaps better not even to talk about the Federal District Department. It’s the first time that rainfall goes against the currents and floods toward my basement. The laments have ceased, only to be replaced by the flooding.”
Why have the laments ceased?
“They dried the basement, and the Chac Mool is covered
1) Under-estimates the power of Chac Mool
2) Fails to appreciate the needs of Chac Mool
with slime. It shows a grotesque aspect because all the sculpture, except for its eyes, is covered with moss. On Sunday I will take the opportunity to scrape the moss off. Pepe has recommended that I move to another apartment, and on the top floor, to avoid aquatic tragedies. Nonetheless, I cannot leave this huge house, albeit too big for me and a little bit gloomy in its architecture, because this is the heritage and memory of my parents. I do not know what would cause me to see a soda fountain along with a juke box in the basement, and a decoration in the bottom floor.”
The house as a symbol

“I went to scrape the slime off the Chac Mool with a spatula. The moss already seemed to be part of the stone. It took me about an hour, and didn’t finish until six in the evening. I was able to distinguish it in the semidarkness, but as soon as I finished the work I continued with the edges of the stone with my hand. Every time I touched the stone again and again it seemed to become 1) tenderer. I did not want to believe it: it was almost like pasta. That salesman from La Lagunilla has swindled me. His pre-Columbian sculpture is 2) pure plaster, and the humidity will end up destroying it. I cover it with rags and tomorrow I will move to the room upstairs before it deteriorates completely.”
“The rags are on the floor, it’s incredible. I touch the Chac Mool again. It has gotten hard, but it will not be the stone again. I do not want to write this, but the stone’s torso has some kind of fleshy 3) texture, I can squeeze it like rubber. I think something runs through that leaning figure. I came downstairs during the night. There is no doubt: The Chac Mool has arm hair”.
Process of Personification

“This had never happened to me. My office affairs were messed up. I made an unauthorized payment order, and the Director gave me a warning. I was probably even rude to my partners. I will need to see a doctor to find out if it’s my imagination or I am delirious, and get rid of that wicked Chac Mool.”
Further deterioration in the office

HERE THE NARRATOR RETURNS
Until now, it was Filiberto’s wide and oval old handwriting that I saw many times written in forms and memos. “The arrival of August 25th” seemed to be written by someone else. In other cases there was like a child writing by working hard to separate each letter. Others look as though written in a nervous way until they unintelligibly diluted. There are three vacant days, and the story continues.
Psychological condition even affecting how he writes

FILIBERTO AGAIN
“Everything is so natural, and later reality is believed…. this is more than what I had earlier believed. If a large decanter is real why are we not more aware of its existence, or if a joking painter paints the water red? A real cigarette puff, a real monstrous image in a circus mirror. Aren’t all the dead real, whether forgotten or present?....If a man got through to Paradise in a dream, and obtained a flower as proof that he was there, and later he wakes up and sees the flower in his hand….then what? Reality is that in a specific day they broke into a thousand pieces, its head fell somewhere in the ground, and its tail somewhere else, and all we know about are the pieces that are hanging from its large body. A fictitious and free ocean is only real when you can imprison it in a seashell. My reality existed until three days ago; it was erased today: it was a reflex movement, routine, memory, a briefcase. Later, like the earth trembles so we remember its power, or when death arrives reproaching having forgotten all about my life, another displaying reality that we knew it was there appears, but it must shake us in order for it to become alive and present. Again I believed it was my imagination: the Chac Mool, soft and elegant with its color changed over the night. It was a yellow that almost seemed gold colored, and it seemed to indicate me that it (Chac Mool) was a God showing its 4) knees less tense than before, and with the 5) most benevolent smile. Finally, yesterday a frightening awakening with a spontaneous realization that there are 6) two different breaths, and that in the darkness there are 7) more pulse beats than just one’s own. 8) Steps could be heard in the stairs. What a nightmare. I tried to go back to sleep, but I do not know for how long. I opened my eyes, yet it was not sunrise. The room smelled like horror, incense, and blood. With a dark look a ran around the room until it stopped I saw two openings with blinking lights in two cruel and yellow flowers.
Chac Mool ultimately becomes human

Almost totally without breath I turned on the light.
“There it was the yellowish-brown Chac Mool, standing straight with a strong smile, and its ingrown paunch. The eyes almost paralyzed, but then they crossed each other very closed to the pointy nose. The inferior teeth were biting the superior lip. Only the sparkles of the squared helmet over the abnormal bulky head revealed life. Chac Mool moved toward the bed, and then it began to rain.”

THE NARRATOR SPEAKS AGAIN
I remember that at the end of August, Filiberto was fired from his position in the secretariat, with a public reproach from the Director, and rumors about craziness and robbing (see “taken from the office,” below). I did not believe this. I saw some ridiculous calls asking the highest official if water could be smelled, offering their services to the Secretary of Hydraulic Resources to help the rain come down in the desert. I did not know how to explain this to myself; I thought that the strong rains of that summer had irritated it. Or that a moral depression should produce life in the old big house, with half of the rooms’ locked and dusty, and no maids nor family life. The following notes are from the end of September:

FILIBERTO AGAIN
“Chac Mool can be friendly when he pleases. It knows fantastic stories (see “old stories” below) about monsoons, the equatorial rains, and the curse of the deserts. Each plant tears out its mythical paternity: the willow, the misguided daughter, the lotus, his spoiled ones, and his mother-in-law: the cactus. The one thing I cannot tolerate is the extra-human smell that emanates from that flesh that is not real, and from the old age bright sandals. With a shrill smile, the Chac Mool reveals how it was discovered by Le Plogeon, and physically placed in contact with men of other symbols. Its spirit has lived in the storm and in a pitcher, all natural. Another thing is its stone. Taking it from its hiding place was cruel and artificial. I think the Chac Mool will never forgive that. He knows about the imminence of the esthetic act.”
“I have had to apply soap to wash its stomach full of ketchup that the salesman anointed believing that he was an Aztec. He (Chac Mool) did not seem to like my question about his relationship with Tlaloc, and when he gets mad his repulsive teeth become bright and sharp. The first days he went to sleep down in the basement, but since yesterday he has been staying in my bed.”
What does this act indicate?
“The dry season has commenced. Since yesterday I began to hear constant horrible noises, and hoarse groaning from the living room where a live now. I went upstairs and opened the door a little bit. The Chac Mool was breaking the lamps, the furniture, and I barely closed the door and hid in the bathroom when he jumped towards the door with his hands scratched. Later he came down gasping asking for water. He has the faucets running all day; therefore, there is not one centimeter dried in the house. I have to sleep well covered, and I have already asked him not to soak the living room anymore”.
WEDNESDAY, December 7
Theme—The indigenous culture is more powerful than people might typically understand it to be.


Represents how the indigenous culture affects the European-based culture in Mexico
House—a symbol of that culture
“The Chac Mool flooded the living room. Exasperated, I told him I would return him to La Lagunilla. With his arm full of heavy bracelets, and a terrible laugh—horrible and different from the laugh of a man or an animal-- he slapped me on the face. I must realize that I am his prisoner. Originally, this was not my idea. I was supposed to dominate the Chac Mool like you dominate a toy. Perhaps I felt an extension of my childhood security. But who said childhood? It is a fruit consumed by the years, and I have not noticed it. He has taken my clothes; he wears my bathrobes (dehumanization in the form of forced intimacy) when green moss begins to sprout. Chac Mool is used to been obeyed, and I can only force myself to yield because I have never had to command (early potential never fulfilled). As long as it does not rain he will live irritated and angry—so what about his power?”
“Today I discovered that Chac Mool leaves the house during the night. When it gets dark he sings an old song (older than the melody itself) with a squeaky sound. Later he stops. I knocked on his door several times, and since he did not answer I decided to come in. The room that I had not entered since the day he tried to attack me was all destroyed, and there was that smell of incense and blood that had impregnated the house. But behind the door there are dog, mice, and cat bones. This is what Chac Mool steals at night to sustain himself. This explains the horrible barking every early morning.”
“It is a dry February. Chac Mool guards every one of my steps. He called a small restaurant to order rice with chicken delivered to me every day. But that which I had taken from the office is almost gone. The inevitable happened since the first day when the water was cut off, as well as the electricity due to the unpaid bill (no job, no money). Although Chac has discovered a public fountain two blocks away from here. I make ten to twelve trips daily to get water while he observes me from house. He told me that if I try to run away he will strike me down. He is also the God of Lightning. What he does not know is that I am aware of he goes out at night. I should go to bed at eight since there is no light. I should be used to Chac Mool by now, but not too long ago, I bumped into him in the stairs in the middle of the dark. I felt his cold arms, the scales of his restored skin, and I wanted to scream”.
“If it doesn’t rain anytime soon, Chac Mool will transform into a stone again. Lately, I have noticed his recent difficulty in moving. Sometimes he reclines for hours, paralyzed, and he seems to be an idol again. But his rests only give new strength to vex me and scratch me as if if he could tear liquid out of my flesh. There is no place for those kind intermissions where old stories were told. I notice a focused resentment. There have been other signs that have made me ponder. The food in my storeroom is coming to an end, he caresses the silk bathrobes, he wants me to bring a servant to the house, and he has made me show him how to use soap and lotions. I think Chac Mool is falling into human temptations; he even shows something old in his face that used to look eternal. This could be my opportunity. If Chac transforms into a human being, it is possible that all his centuries of life accumulate instantly and then explodes. Although this is where my death can also come about. Chac would not want me to see him collapse; it is possible he would want to kill me.”
AN INVENTORY OF WHAT CHAC MOOL HAS COST HIM:
• His job.
• His property
• His dignity
• His sanity.
• His life.

“Today I will take the opportunity to run away when Chac goes out at night. I will go to Acapulco. I will see what to do to find a job, and wait for Chac Mool’s death. Yes, he is coming close; he is all gray hair, and worn-out. I need some sun, and swimming to recuperate my strength. Chac Mool can become the owner of everything; let’s see how long he will last without a thousand buckets of water.”
THE NARRATOR AGAIN
This is where Filiberto’s diary ends. I slept all the way to Cuernavaca. I did not want to think about his story anymore. Moreover I tried to find logic to his writings by relating it to work excess, or to a psychological cause. We arrived at nine o’ clock at to the terminal and I still could not understand my friend’s insanity. I got a truck to take the coffin back to Filiberto’s house, and then arrange his burial.
The door opened by itself before I could introduce the key into the lock. A pale Indian appeared wearing a robe with a scarf. He showed a strong repulsive appearance. He had an odor as if he was wearing cheap cologne. His dusty face was trying to hide the wrinkles. The makeup in his lips looked messy, and his hair gave the impression it had been dyed.
--Forgive me….I did not know Filiberto had…
--It’s ok, I know everything. Tell the men to take the corpse to the basement.
"Pleasures are shafts of the glory as it strikes our sensibility... Make every pleasure into a channel of adoration." ~C.S. Lewis

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Post by Del » Sat Dec 12, 2009 6:48 pm

Don't make the mistake of thinking that Aztec mythology has coopted Mary into a sort of pagan goddess.

The truth is exactly opposite:

In His wisdom, the Holy Spirit allowed Mary to appear in Mexico in the mid 1500's. Within a decade, the pagan continents of South and Central America were converted to Christianity.

Meanwhile, Europe has steadily fallen into secularism since that time.
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Post by JohnnyMcPiperson » Sat Dec 12, 2009 7:11 pm

That is an interesting view, I had not really assumed anything, just looked at the connections... but, I can accept your view as viable, the most important thing is that they understand salvation and the nature of their relationship with Christ, which in my experience, some do, some do not, but you could say that of Christianity in general, so I try not to make any generalizations. Just fascinated with the information and the history behind it all. Definitely true that without the Virgin of Guadeloupe and other similar circumstances throughout Latin America it would have been much slower going for the natives to turn to Christianity. The interesting thing is the worship of a statue as a living being, which is where I draw a parallel to Chac Mool. Chac Mool is actually interesting for an entirely different reason though, mostly because it suggests that Latin America is still largely in the grip of it's ancient religion and that the people themselves do not understand the grip that these traditions and old beliefs still have on them or what it may have cost them as a society or people. Back to the Virgin Mary thing, I had actually toyed with that concept, and wondered if this was the case, why did the Virgin Mary appear and not Christ, and I think I have a hypothesis. It seems that the male figure in Latin America is somewhat corrupted by and large by the Machismo image of men as abusive power figures, therefore it would be difficult for them to understand and worship a male figure, but the female mother figure is viewed as pure and virtuous, so it was much easier for them to accept, so as you said in the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, he sent them a female savior. I can see this possibility, but for me it is a major theological stretch, however I have not entirely thrown it out the window.
Last edited by JohnnyMcPiperson on Sat Dec 12, 2009 7:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by UncleBob » Sat Dec 12, 2009 7:25 pm

Hmm... I suppose that I should have expected some controversy concerning this post - even though I did not post it in the Theology section. It is still tiresome, however.

I am not trying to question the veracity of any claim concerning Our Lady of Guadalupe. Nor am I arguing that Catholics (of any stripe) worship idols or statues (or whatever else the anti-papists can concoct in their rush to misunderstand so that they may engage in pointless sniping). I just found the evening interesting and I was delighted to see so many people worshiping God in a manner different from my own usual practice.

To argue that Our Lady of Guadalupe is some bastardization of Aztec mythology is a dangerous claim for any Christian to make. First, it demeans those who practice their own expression of Catholicism. Second, it demonstrates that most common of causes of division: arrogance. And third, it expresses an argument that certainly could be leveled at Christianity in general. What religion arose without using elements from prior religions?

I guess I cannot wrap my mind around why any expression of Christianity, different from what someone may practice, seemingly must be attacked, questioned, and attenuated.

That is all.
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Post by JohnnyMcPiperson » Sat Dec 12, 2009 7:36 pm

UncleBob wrote:Hmm... I suppose that I should have expected some controversy concerning this post - even though I did not post it in the Theology section. It is still tiresome, however.

I am not trying to question the veracity of any claim concerning Our Lady of Guadalupe. Nor am I arguing that Catholics (of any stripe) worship idols or statues (or whatever else the anti-papists can concoct in their rush to misunderstand so that they may engage in pointless sniping). I just found the evening interesting and I was delighted to see so many people worshiping God in a manner different from my own usual practice.

To argue that Our Lady of Guadalupe is some bastardization of Aztec mythology is a dangerous claim for any Christian to make. First, it demeans those who practice their own expression of Catholicism. Second, it demonstrates that most common of causes of division: arrogance. And third, it expresses an argument that certainly could be leveled at Christianity in general. What religion arose without using elements from prior religions?

I guess I cannot wrap my mind around why any expression of Christianity, different from what someone may practice, seemingly must be attacked, questioned, and attenuated.

That is all.
This was never my intent, I apologize if I came across this way, just looking into the history, simply because it fascinates me, I do not seek to illegitimize your experience at all, it actually fascinates me, that's why I responded to it. I just think that it is interesting to see where these people started out and how God may have been able to use their original beliefs and meet them where they were at to show them himself. I am also fascinated with the aztec religion as an aspect of history and culture and I thought I would post the chac mool story cuz it is interesting to me, probably should have posted it on a new thread as I seem to have hijacked your thread and brought it in an undesirable direction, for this I apolagize. I actually just started out trying to give you the background of how the Virgin of Guadeloupe came into play just cuz I thought you might find it interesting, then I got a little carried away... :(

I recognize that I did question some things, but that is not out of arrogance I don't believe, since I question my own beliefs regularly...
I apologize if questioning things puts a bad flavor in your mouth, again I did not intend to illegitamize anything, it's just a topic that I am fascinated with, so by posting on the Virgin of Guadeloupe you sparked a curiosity of mine.
Last edited by JohnnyMcPiperson on Sat Dec 12, 2009 7:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Del » Sat Dec 12, 2009 7:43 pm

JohnnyMcPiperson wrote:The interesting thing is the worship of a statue as a living being
I don't know about any statue of Guadalupe.

The miracle is that Mary appeared to little St. Jaun Diego, and asked for a basilica to be built.

The local bishop, a Spanish missionary, asked for a sign. Mary caused Spanish roses to bloom in the winter of the Mexican mountains. Jaun Diego gather the roses in his cloak, and took them to the bishop. When Jaun Diego opened his cloak to reveal the roses, an image of Mary was "painted" on the cloak.

This image on the cloak is the familiar image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Image
Like many such miracles, it confounds scientists to this day.
first: the crude cactus fibers cannot be made to take pigments and display such fine details.
Second, the cactus fiber cloak should have disintegrated like corn husks within a few decades.... but you can see the cloak and image still.
Third: modern photography and blown-up portions reveal details finer than any man can paint.

the list goes on. This is a real miracle. Wiki article does a decent job of describing the phenomena and controversies.
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Post by JohnnyMcPiperson » Sat Dec 12, 2009 7:57 pm

Del wrote:
JohnnyMcPiperson wrote:The interesting thing is the worship of a statue as a living being
I don't know about any statue of Guadalupe.
"I found the whole celebration fascinating! The Padre told anecdotes about how the Virgin first appeared, how "a doctor" heard the heart beats of a child in the statue of the Virgin (and therefore how she is a real person), and how the statue had a temperature of 98.1 F. There was mariachi worship music - including an excellent version of "Ave Maria" to mariachi - and the Bishop conducted the Eucharist."

Yea I know the history, that's what all of those links I posted discussed, I was going off of Bob's observations as quoted above. I thought the possible connection was interesting, probably shouldn't have followed that interest with a forum post, didn't realize it would cause so much stress. Only an observation, I didn't draw any conclusion, the observation was simply that the same people group seemed to sometimes have this connection with the idea of living statues both then and now.
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Post by wosbald » Sat Dec 12, 2009 8:31 pm

+JMJ+
In Catholic circles, the Apparition of the Virgin of Guadalupe is usually understood as a Divine response to loss of Faith in Europe due to the Protestant Reformation.




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Post by Del » Sat Dec 12, 2009 9:15 pm

JohnnyMcPiperson wrote:
Del wrote:
JohnnyMcPiperson wrote:The interesting thing is the worship of a statue as a living being
I don't know about any statue of Guadalupe.
"I found the whole celebration fascinating! The Padre told anecdotes about how the Virgin first appeared, how "a doctor" heard the heart beats of a child in the statue of the Virgin (and therefore how she is a real person), and how the statue had a temperature of 98.1 F. There was mariachi worship music - including an excellent version of "Ave Maria" to mariachi - and the Bishop conducted the Eucharist."

Yea I know the history, that's what all of those links I posted discussed, I was going off of Bob's observations as quoted above. I thought the possible connection was interesting, probably shouldn't have followed that interest with a forum post, didn't realize it would cause so much stress. Only an observation, I didn't draw any conclusion, the observation was simply that the same people group seemed to sometimes have this connection with the idea of living statues both then and now.
that's fine.... UB heard the story of a miracle involving a statue. Just don't fall into the trap of assuming that the miracle did not happen, or that it is a re-imagining of some Aztec legend.

Mary's appearance at Guadalupe left evidence we can still examine, and it caused the conversion of a continent. It remains one the most astounding miracles of the modern era.

There have been many smaller miracles of statues and icons since. They are interesting, but they mainly serve to confirm the faith of people already baptized.

Let's see if Thunktank will share his witness of a miraculous perfumed oil seeping copiously from the wood on a icon of Mary. It smelled richly of roses. Thunktank was even annointed with this oil.... and his wife could smell it even before he arrived home!

God gives us these miracles to strengthen and encourage us.
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Post by Del » Sun Dec 13, 2009 12:03 am

I'd like to bring this back around to Uncle Bob's original discussion -- the joy of seeing Mexican Christians give witness to their faith.

We have a vibrant Mexican-Catholic community in Madison. I wish I had planned to share the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe with them.

Our Lady of Guadalupe is the patroness of unborn children. Our bishop called for a novena of fasting and prayer leading up to today's commemoration, and remembering the health-care debate in the US Senate.

(side note - Our Lady of Czestochowa is also the patroness of women suffering from past abortions. In Czewstochowa, Poland there is an icon (alledgedly written by St. Luke) that was damaged by Hussite iconoclasts. The wounds to the image refuse to be repaired.)
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Post by JohnnyMcPiperson » Sun Dec 13, 2009 2:15 pm

Del wrote:I'd like to bring this back around to Uncle Bob's original discussion -- the joy of seeing Mexican Christians give witness to their faith.

We have a vibrant Mexican-Catholic community in Madison. I wish I had planned to share the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe with them.

Our Lady of Guadalupe is the patroness of unborn children. Our bishop called for a novena of fasting and prayer leading up to today's commemoration, and remembering the health-care debate in the US Senate.

(side note - Our Lady of Czestochowa is also the patroness of women suffering from past abortions. In Czewstochowa, Poland there is an icon (alledgedly written by St. Luke) that was damaged by Hussite iconoclasts. The wounds to the image refuse to be repaired.)
Indeed, I bet it was a neat and uplifting experience!
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Post by Del » Sun Dec 13, 2009 2:47 pm

JohnnyMcPiperson wrote: Indeed, I bet it was a neat and uplifting experience!
The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is as much about Mexican national identity as it is about the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Kinda like Christmas is an ethnic celebration in most countries, as well as a Christian feast. People love to celebrate the things they love.

I kinda like ethnic celebrations.... celebrating Chinese New Year with friends from China, stuff like that. I wish I had planned to join the Guadalupe celebrations at a Hispanic parish.

(The main Hispanic parish in Madison is also the one that hosts the Traditional Latin Mass! It's quite a melting pot.)
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Post by AFRS » Sun Dec 13, 2009 4:51 pm

Idol worshippers <redacted_emoji>

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Post by Skip » Sun Dec 13, 2009 5:04 pm

AFRS wrote:Idol worshippers <redacted_emoji>
Tsk, tsk. And people say that I'm the one with sensitivity issues.

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Post by Del » Sun Dec 13, 2009 5:07 pm

AFRS wrote:Idol worshippers <redacted_emoji>
Iconoclasts. :evil:
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Post by Skip » Sun Dec 13, 2009 5:08 pm

Del wrote:
AFRS wrote:Idol worshippers <redacted_emoji>
Iconoclasts. :evil:
Iconoclastic -- doesn't DuPont have the patent on that?

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Post by Del » Sun Dec 13, 2009 5:21 pm

JohnnyMcPiperson wrote:Back to the Virgin Mary thing, I had actually toyed with that concept, and wondered if this was the case, why did the Virgin Mary appear and not Christ, and I think I have a hypothesis. It seems that the male figure in Latin America is somewhat corrupted by and large by the Machismo image of men as abusive power figures, therefore it would be difficult for them to understand and worship a male figure, but the female mother figure is viewed as pure and virtuous, so it was much easier for them to accept, so as you said in the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, he sent them a female savior. I can see this possibility, but for me it is a major theological stretch, however I have not entirely thrown it out the window.
This is a worthy guess... we don't know the mind of God. All we know is that He sent Mary, and this visitation brought a continent full of demon-worshipping, human-sacrificing pagans to Christ in an astoundingly short time.

I too have wondered why Mary has appeared so many times since the 1500's, and Jesus has not.

My personal favorite answer is that Jesus already came to save us. He will not come again, until the final coming.

Meanwhile, Mary is helping us in the Church's mission of bring the whole world to Christ.

A second guess.... revealed by Mary when She appeared at Fatima, Portugal in 1917, is that Jesus is very angry with how the world has rejected Him. Mary said that She has been working hard to hold back His vengeance, for our sake.... She came to give the world one more warning to repent, or there would be another war, a huge war, much worse than the Great War that had just ended. And Marxist Russia would spread her errors all over the world. She asked that Russia be dedicated to Her Immaculate Heart, and She would bring an end to their atheist rule.

In short -- Mary has taken us under Her care, just as She interceded for the young couple at Cana.
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Post by wosbald » Sun Dec 13, 2009 5:23 pm

+JMJ+
Skip wrote:
Del wrote:
AFRS wrote:Idol worshippers <redacted_emoji>
Iconoclasts. :evil:
Iconoclastic -- doesn't DuPont have the patent on that?
Perhaps you're thinking of Super Elastic Bubble Plastic™.




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